To understand the concept of group coaching, first start with what you know as leadership training, and then add engagement, accountability, transparency, experiential learning, learning expectations, and cost effectiveness to it. Training is a one directional transfer of knowledge from an instructor to a participant. Once the learning has been shared, all responsibility to take action is placed on the participant at some future date. Because group coaching events have a maximum of ten participants, by its very structure incorporates engagement in real time where each participant is expected to coach and be coached right there on the spot right now. And that expectation can only be met in a spirit engagement.
Training is traditionally defined as skill development at single point in time. Group coaching begins with skill development and then adds to it a component of complex problem solving over time to ensure accountability that the problem is getting solved. Being that each person on the team is a coach moving other team members towards a goal, it is vastly more cost effective than having an outside coach take on that accountability role. Group coaching takes on a more meaningful dynamic because as the coach, participants must have their heads in the game, thinking of how to connect people to the solutions to their problems, and how to move the conversations to such clarity that commitments can be made. Coaches are forced to think ahead to move people through the emotions, behaviors, and beliefs that are often attached to achieving results. Group coaching also builds on itself because each coach is getting coached, and there is wonderful learning there on how their coached approached them, asked questions for great discovery, and held them accountable to achieving commitments. They can then turn around and apply that same relationship learning to others as they now transform into a coach role.
Group coaching develops and transfers reliance. Reliance on teams, reliance on individuals to be the best participant and coach possible because the interconnections both fosters and allows for it. This dynamic takes on a momentum of its own and is not even on the radar as an expectation people typically know as leadership training.