Understanding Professional Coaching through Individual, Team, and Group Coaching
“Coaching evokes excellence in others by eliciting their own thinking and solutions, supporting and enabling their personal & professional development” – Frans Campher, Programme Co-Director, Imperial College Business School.
Coaching is one of the fastest growing industries, and it is also among the most confusing.
The coaching industry is divided into subcategories that include executive coaching, career coaching, and team coaching (not to be confused with athletic coaching!), and that might be where the confusion begins. Despite their differences, these types of coaching are all united by one common thread: they exist to bring out the best in each and every person.
Coaching differs from similar practices like mentoring, teaching, and consulting, because the primary goal of coaching is to help clients hone in on the strengths of their existing talents and access their full potential. Mentors, teachers, and consultants impart wisdom and knowledge to guide your decisions, whereas a coach empowers you to take control of these decisions for yourself with clarity, curiosity, and courage. A coach knows that you have the key to unlocking the future you want for yourself, and they know how to help you find it. Think of the classic “teach a man to fish” idiom– a coach will help you identify and eliminate barriers to success so that you can prosper on your own.
Let’s look at the different components to professional coaching
What is Individual Coaching?
Individual Coaching: Be Extraordinary, Achieve the Extraordinary
Who is it for? Professionals and leaders at any level who want to elevate their career prospects, find work-life balance, strengthen their leadership abilities, or just find their path.
What is it? Individual Coaching is a one-on-one partnership between the coach and coachee with the goal of personal advancement. What you focus on in these sessions will depend on your needs, desires, or pressure points in your life or career. Your coach will help you identify the barriers to success and create a plan to move past them, and they can also help you uncover the true value of your talents (see <link to superpowers blog> for more information on why we sell ourselves short and how to stop!)
When do I need it? In short, whenever you feel stuck or stressed and could use some clarity or you simply want to improve upon something. A coach can serve as a thinking partner to help you make big decisions or overcome barriers to success, whether they are in the office or in your own mind. They can help you see the big picture of what you want to accomplish and align your actions and goals to get there.
People commonly seek out Individual coaching when they are looking for a new career path, taking on a new leadership role, preparing for interviews, or feeling overwhelmed from a lack of work-life balance. Also, anyone who desires to be a change leader.
What is Team Coaching?
Team Coaching: Achieve the Extraordinary Together
Who is it for? Teams of power players who want to strengthen their collaboration in order to work together more efficiently and produce stronger end results.
What is it? Team coaching is an opportunity for team members to connect with their shared goals, learn how to communicate with each other, and figure out where each person fits perfectly in the group. A team coach will help each of you identify your strongest talents and how they can benefit the team, and they will also help you identify any patterns or behaviors that might cause discord if they are not understood. When teams see each other clearly, they work together much more efficiently and elevate their work to the next level.
When do I need it? There is no wrong time to get more insight into your team and how you work together, but people often seek team coaching during moments of transition and change. A coach can help your team adjust to new leadership, changing company structures, or an evolving marketplace. Often, when a company wants to rebrand or make significant changes it can be difficult to make sure everyone is on the same page. A coach can help everyone see the bigger picture and how they fit into it so that your team can move forward smoothly.
Right now, many teams are working with coaches as they adjust to the abrupt changes that took place during the pandemic, how this has affected their client/customer relations, and the constantly-evolving expectations for businesses.
What is Group Coaching? Group Coaching: Be Extraordinary Together
Who is it for? This is for individuals who want to come together with others facing similar challenges, opportunities, or desires for improvement. These groups may not be part of the same team or even the same company, but they have similar goals.
What is it? Group coaching is a chance to unite with like-minded people in a supportive environment that encourages your growth. Group coaching is similar to individual coaching, but you have the added benefit of discussing challenges or opportunities with others who are in the same boat. In these coaching sessions, someone might express a point of view you had not considered or put into words what you haven’t been able to, and it can be incredibly helpful!
When do I need it? People seek out group coaching when they want to gain clarity, improve their skills, or overcome challenges. Group coaching, like individual coaching, is focused on whatever is challenging you. These groups might be first time leaders, people who are preparing for interviews, recent graduates looking for the next step, or new parents who want to balance out their work and home life.
Additionally, women face unique challenges in the workplace, and coming together in group coaching can be especially beneficial in these instances. These groups often focus on learning to assert yourself as a leader, understanding the value of your talents and learning to express it clearly, overcoming barriers to advancement, and many other common experiences. It is particularly helpful in these instances to know that you are not alone, and coaching can help you move past anything in your way.