Learn about virtual group coaching and the 11 essential tips that can help you to become an effective and successful virtual group coach.
So far in our previous articles, we have talked about one-on-one virtual coaching.
But what if you want to expand your board of students?
How do you do that?
The answer to that question is simple; virtual group coaching.
Virtual coaching is a popular option for coaches today and it involves coaching, guidance, and counseling via the internet and video conferencing; it is just as same as the in-person coaching approach, the main difference is the delivery via the internet.
In this article, we will discuss the 11 important things about virtual group coaching you need to know about it.
Let’s count, then!
Table of Contents:
Virtual Group Coaching – 11 important things you NEED to know about it:
- Clear Team Agreements Set The Tone of Coaching Sessions
- Building Trust and Intimacy Is Still Necessary
- It Can Be As Interactive As Face-to-Face Coaching
- Shared Expectations Clears Unspoken Assumptions
- Social Media Platforms Can Foster Group Collaboration
- Questions Will Form the Backbone of Coaching Conversations
- Setting Goals Keeps Members Engaged In Their Training
- Periodic Checks Keep The Group Focused
- Power Breaks or Exercises Keep Participants Energized
- You Can Nurture Listening Skills of The Entire Group
- Group Accountability Strengthens Bonds Between Members
Some of these important tips are setting clear team agreements, building trust, sharing expectations, being interactive, using social media, asking questions, setting group goals, keeping periodic checks, giving power breaks, nurturing listening, and creating group accountability.
1. Clear Team Agreements Set The Tone Of Coaching Sessions
If you want to pursue your virtual coaching business, then you should know that to keep it busy and running you have to apply different techniques and strategies.
And one of them is asking for feedback from your coaching group.
You have to ask the members, either individually or as an entire group, how they want to move forward.
What they want to do to feel satisfied and to feel their successful progression.
It is necessary to ask them for feedback and suggestions so that everyone moves forward with you successfully.
Once you know that on what point all of them agree and want to proceed with, you can finally set the tone of your coaching sessions.
It will count as a verbal or written agreement between you and your clients.
The more everyone is on the same page, the easier it gets for you to take everyone together towards their success.
2. Building Trust And Intimacy Is Still Necessary
In the coaching business, we always say that without building a ‘rapport’, it cannot work at all.
And the rapport is the mixture of ‘trust’ and ‘intimacy’ between the coach and his clients.
Without talking thoroughly with each other, no one can develop the connection of trust in between.
The coach has to talk thoroughly with his clients, give them time individually and as a group, to let them know that he cares about them and he is concerned about their goals.
The coach can ask questions verbally or in written form while having a conversation with his clients; like ‘what brought your interest towards this topic in particular?’ or ‘Why do you think you feel the negative energy at work around your colleagues?’.
Questions like these let the clients think about how much their coach knows them and is concerned about.
3. It Can Be As Interactive As Face-To-Face Coaching
In-person and virtual coaching is so much alike, their only difference is the mediation of the internet.
Both of the approaches can have the same techniques and the same strategies.
Both can have the same programme.
But no doubt, both approaches have their own advantages.
In both approaches clients can talk openly to their coach, they can easily interact with each other, any time anywhere they want, whether they are at home or not.
What they need is just a peaceful corner, and they can easily interact with each other.
In fact, sometimes virtual coaching seems more interactive because it can have the liberty of screen time, wherever you are.
Whenever there is some question or guidance related query the client has, he can have a video conference easily.
The hours can be more flexible in this approach because to talk with each other no one has to run to places.
Just a peaceful sofa and a laptop or smartphone are enough for both sides.
4. Shared Expectations Clears Unspoken Assumptions
For instance, if you are leading a group, what approach can be more engaged for all of them?
Other than the coach talking to the whole group, it works better when the whole group shares their experiences together.
Sharing the same experiences, same issues, same problems gives everyone the motivation to work on them.
Besides, under depression and stress, everyone feels as if they are alone and they are the only ones who are facing such issues.
Everyone talking about their shared pain and stress will relieve them of their conflicts and they will work together to solve their issues.
The coach will guide them and support them and best of all, all the group members will support each other when they know what their partners are facing.
They can be empathetic towards them
And when they will achieve their goals together, a sense of success will prevail amongst the group members.
It will be filled with positive energy which is best for a coaching programme.
This way shared expectations always clear the unspoken assumptions.
5. Social Media Platforms Can Foster Group Collaboration
Everyone uses social media these days, almost everyone is on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and YouTube.
People get inspired by online influencers a lot.
They follow them, and you know why?
Because they do indirect coaching.
The purpose of this whole media agenda is that people get inspired by social media posts because it is in trend and the coaches should take this idea into account seriously.
Social media platforms can easily foster group collaboration through their media motivational posts.
Coachers should have a proper online page or account where they can upload clients’ daily tasks, their achievements, their goals and especially motivational posts for everyday to move forward.
Clients should feel like they have achieved some major milestones and all of them are together in this race and they are near their success.
They should feel as if they are very close to their wanted behaviour.
6. Questions Will Form The Backbone Of Coaching Conversations
This point is quite important because it is also a part of rapport building.
So, let’s discuss it this way; when someone is telling you about some important event or even their day, what do you do to show them the best of your interest in them?
You ask them questions about their day and the event to show them your interest.
The same is the scenario with the coach and his clients.
Questioning is a very essential part of the whole coaching programme.
Questions let the speaker know that the listener is interested in your thing, he is concerned about you.
Coachers do the same techniques; they ask different questions to their clients.
Some questions are reflective and there can be some cross-questioning too, to let the clients have another chance to change their reply, to change their thoughts towards the issue.
It is not only coaches who can ask questions, in fact, the group members can also ask questions and guidance whenever they have something in mind and the coach is always happy to help them out.
7. Setting Goals Keeps Members Engaged In Their Training
Setting and achieving goals is an essential strategy for coaching programmes.
Goal achieving activities motivate individuals and it produces a sense of confidence in them, when they feel motivated and when they achieve their set goals.
Sense of achievement and self-confidence is that main essence; after which everyone hires a coach.
They demand it from the coaching programme, either verbally or by their behaviours.
Setting goals keeps members engaged in their training and it keeps them running.
At the beginning of the programme, tasks should be easy and especially it should also be easy to achieve their initial goals.
If the initial tasks are difficult to fulfil and goals are hard to achieve in the beginning, it might lead the individuals to a sense of demotivation and low self-esteem.
8. Periodic Checks Keeps The Group Focused
It is highly important for a coach to keep his team or group on track.
It is possible for them to drift away from time to time.
And it might happen because of different reasons, for instance, like when they think they are not good enough for the tasks or when they think they are not highly achieving their goals, they are behind others.
All these issues can disturb for them.
So a coach can keep on giving motivational speeches to them from time to time.
Some individuals might be stronger than other members of the group, you can also ask them to help their companions to stand up with them.
A coach can adopt various strategies to keep the members of his group on track and keep them running toward their goals.
So, we recommend it to all the coaches, old or new, to keep the periodic check on them to make them stay focused.
9. Power Breaks Or Exercises Keeps Participants Energized
Whenever someone is giving long lectures or having a serious meeting, again and again, it can cause an air of boredom among some members of the group.
To give your clients a frequent break seems only logical, where it is also an excellent strategy too.
A good break can help them have a clear mind for future meetings or it can be essential for them to muster up their courage and energy for future tasks.
You can add these breaks to your programme and call them ‘Power Breaks’ and let the clients know about its motive, which will be to keep them energized.
This way, they will know what they have to do to stay energized during their power breaks.
Ask them to do whatever they want, whatever they think will keep their energies back to full.
You can also assign them some fun tasks yourself and they can be very easy and calming.
10. You Can Nurture Listening Skills Of The Entire Group
As we talked earlier about the strategy of questioning, ‘listening’ is also as much important as questioning.
Talk openly about this skill to your clients and ask them to take notes when you are speaking about various important techniques and points for them to fulfil their goals.
Tell them that they need to enhance their abilities and skill of listening and for that, they have to listen to each other.
Give them turns to sit on the coaching chair and listen to each other intently, it will not only enhance their listening, in fact, but it will also grow an ability of problem-solving in them whilst listening and advising to each other.
Tell them about micro-listening, it will enable them to focus on the words you are saying, hence, enhancing their skill of listening.
As for a coach, ‘Listening’ comes before ‘Questioning’.
Because he cannot question anyone if he is not a good listener, as the saying goes that a counsellor listens to you where no one else listens to you.
A coach is also a counsellor and he cannot do counselling without him listening intently to his clients.
11. Group Accountability Strengthens Bonds Between Members
Although one might think and to some people, it may seem like the group’s effectiveness is only accountable to its coach.
But it is not true.
It is quite important for everyone to understand that the group’s effectiveness and success depend on all the members of the group and not only on the coach.
Though it does depend on the coach and maybe more than 50% of it, the remaining percentage depends on the clients.
They should understand this fact, (to look upon it in a certain way) that the opportunity for all the individuals of a group to bond with each other and to strengthen each other, increases with every virtual call they make.
And it also increases the potential for accountability.
A coach should make his clients aware that creating an effective environment is everyone’s responsibility.
And it is a two-way connection.
It cannot work single sided.
We really hope that we were helpful to all of you, in understanding these 11 super important points related to virtual group coaching and you have a clear head now to move forward in your field of coaching.
Thank you for trusting us as we trust in you completely.
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