Establishing Ground Rules and Ways of Working
Leaning on ICF's core competency category, "Co-Creating the Relationship," it's crucial for you, the coach, to consider how you will establish and maintain agreements and integrate this in the design of your group programs.
One of the ways to do this is through ground rules or Ways of Working (WOW). Similar to individual coaching, in group programs, both the Coach and the participants create this agreement, so it is mutually honoring the needs of both the group members and the Coach.
There are various names for agreements, including "Ground rules," Rules of Engagement, Rules of the road, or even Ways of Working.
Co-Creating Agreements and Expectations for the group coaching process is a critical step for success. As we illustrated in one of our recent Group Coaching DEMOS, you might use a whiteboard, chat or even verbally go round to hear from everyone about "what is going to make the conversation zone a positive space".
It is important to allocate time fair time in your first session to allow all group members (and you, the Coach) to establish what each person needs and, in turn, have a group consensus. Doing so will create:
- Group ownership, in turn, increases group engagement.
- A container of trust, safety, and connection, making participants open to exploring potentially sensitive topics and expressing their insights and challenges with the group over time.
- Group cohesion, allowing participants to learn and grow from one another
- Less tricky issues to navigate with difficult personalities in the group.
- Space for the group to get acquainted with individual needs for program success and fulfilling the forming stage of Tuckman's model of group dynamics.
Possible next steps:
- Review the ICF core competency category "Co-creating the Relationship" and identify action steps you can take to ensure your group programs align with ICF.
- Join an upcoming Group Coaching Essentials program to learn best practices for Establishing group agreements in design and delivery. Click here to see upcoming programs: https://www.groupcoachingessentials.ca/group-coaching-essentials.html
- Take a deeper dive into learning and practicing group and team coaching this summer at the 2 Day In Person Group and Team Coaching Intensive running July 27 and 28 in beautiful Bracebridge, Ontario. Join Jennifer in person for this return on an annual summer favorite. Early Bird rate on until end of June. Space is limited to 10.
Enjoy the conversations and we hope that you will join us this summer!
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