January 3, 2010
Take a Tip from Sherlock Holmes: You Must Have a Group Coaching Process
Going to the movies is one of my favorite outings. Just the other day I went to see the new Sherlock Holmes movie. As usual, I wanted to be thoroughly entertained and escape into a world of mystery and adventure.
Well, I was totally entertained! Holmes is portrayed as quite an interesting character who doesn't bathe often and lives in a constant state of clutter. Fortunately, these things don't seem to have much impact on his keen deductive reasoning skills or on his ability to successfully win a fight every single time. Amazing! It's all about having a great process!
Group coaching works very much the same way and these steps work together:
- You must have a group coaching process.
- You must follow your group coaching process.
- You must know your group coaching process at all times.
I spent several years in telecommunications and IT managing processes. I learned that a process is very simply a way of creating structure or organization by identifying all of the steps. In group coaching, your process is the strategy or methodology you use to coach in your groups. Your organized strategy (or process) determines the content flow to your group learners. You see how your content excites and ignites your group. You identify your learners' challenges more readily. You learn how to coach your learners more deeply. You gotta have a process!
The key to having a solid process or strategy is for it to be 1-repeatable and 2-without holes or flaws. Follow your process again and again to identify the holes. Your process will have flaws that you'll only recognize when you follow it consistently. In my IT days, we called that continuous improvement. Today, I say look for ways to constantly evolve your process and make it better for your community of learners. Your coaching clients will give you great feedback to support you along the way. All you have to do is ask. Pay attention to their responses and incorporate their worthwhile input to make your group coaching strategy better. There is always room for going deeper and improving your process for your learners if you just listen.
It's not enough to have a process and follow it. You must also know your process very well so you can call it forth and coach on your process in the moment — in an instant, to support your coaching clients in a group. Repeat your process consistently and you'll find yourself standing confidently in your area of expertise. You won't have to look for answers to questions or solutions to challenges in your written notes because you have the answers right there inside because you know your process. That's pretty kewl, right?!
Do you have a group coaching process? Do you follow it? What steps do you take to refine your group coaching process? I'd love to hear your comments.
Wendy Y. Bailey is a Master Certified Group Coach, Certified Experienced Coach and Certified Neuro-Linguistic Programming Practictioner. Affectionately called "WendyY" by her business associates, colleagues and friends, she's also the Creator and Founder of Group Coaching Mastery - Master Group Coaching with an NLP Twist. WendyY helps coaches, speakers and trainers learn to create, design, market, fill and deliver bestselling group coaching programs using Neuro-Linguistic Programming (persuasive marketing, language skills and influence strategies.) More about Group Coaching Mastery programs