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Collective Wisdom: Group Coaching Techniques & Demo

Monday, May 16, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Jesus Diaz
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What is group coaching?

And, how does group coaching differ from team coaching and why is this distinction important? 

These were the first questions on the agenda at the lively May 10 gathering of ATD NYC's Coaching Special Interest Group held at Pfizer Corporate Headquarters.

In a thoughtful presentation packed with content, guest speaker Nina Fiddian-Green simply and elegantly contrasted groups and teams, with some key highlights noted below:

Group
Team
Shares Common Interest and/or Need Shares Common Interest and/or Need
Each person has individual goals around that interest/ need  Team shares common goals around that interest/need
Individuals do not work together 
to pursue common goals 
Team members work together to pursue common goals
Example: Yankee Fans  Example: The Yankees
Example: All new managers in a company Example: All members of one team in a company

With this clarified, group coaching as well as meaningful differences between group and team coaching become obvious. With groups, individuals do not share collective ownership for coaching outcomes and shared goals. With team coaching this dimension is not only relevant, it is crucial. 

Nina also discussed key distinctions between training, facilitating, individual and group coaching; the benefits of group coaching (a key benefit is its scalability in a growing environment of limited coaching budgets) as well as the critical competencies required to be an effective group coach, including knowledge of: 

- Systems Theory (particularly Open Systems and how they impact behavior)
- Group Dynamics (Bruce Tuckman, et al.)
- Adult Learning Theory (Malcolm Knowles, et al.)
- Experiential Learning
- Facilitation Skills

She stressed that in group and team contexts, there is an exponential increase in the level of coaching skill required. With individual coaching, a dynamic exists between two people: coach and client. In group or team settings, each person in the room has a dynamic with every other person in the room.  Points of intersection and the need to effectively manage these are multiplied tremendously.  Thus, expertise in Group Dynamics and Team Dynamics (Forming, Storming, Norming, etc.) are essential skills.  Green recommends that one never coach more than 15 people at a time, with eight being the optimal number in her view.

A demonstration of group coaching, with four volunteers from the room, highlighted how to leverage individual learning in a group setting. This produced a stimulating discussion to end the night.

"Nina did an outstanding job of highlighting the key components and benefits of group coaching, the differences between group and team coaching, and she facilitated a high-impact demo of the power of group coaching.  Given the growing use of group coaching in organizations, the discussion and demo were a timely addition to the ATDNYC Coaching SIG 2016 agenda."  Barbara Phillips, ATDNYC Coaching SIG Co-Chair

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Speaker's Bio:
Nina Fiddian-Green is founder of WinningWorth, an executive coaching practice. She also is Adjunct Professor at New York University, teaching Executive and Group Coaching in the M.S. Human Resources Management and Development and Professional Pathways programs. 

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Mark Your Calendars: 
The next ATDNYC Coaching SIG event will be July 26th at Pfizer.  We'll engage in a conversation with representatives from jetBlue and New York Life to learn about their internal coaching programs ‰ÛÒ another growing trend in the coaching world. All are welcome. See you there!

 

For more ATD NYC events, visit http://www.atdnyc.org/events/

 

 

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