These Six PEER Group Coaching Elements = Success!
In my last post, I shared with you how The PEER Technology® Group Coaching Framework came to be. Now I’d like to go a little deeper and explain more about what this Framework consists of and how it is carried out.
The Framework is typically carried out in what we call our EDGE experience (9 months). We also offer a THRIVE experience (7 months), COMPASS (6 months), and concentrated sessions such as our Ignite Coaching Circles (1-2 hours) or Jumpstart (2 days).
No matter the length of time invested, all engage the same six core elements:
Accredited coaches today are trained to coach 1:1, offering a safe space for the coachee to be vulnerable and share challenges. Coaches can then ask thoughtful questions so the coachee can generate their own solutions (and sometimes receive guidance from someone who has been there, done that).
This core concept doesn’t change with group coaching, but instead of the coach being the mirror that reflects back the learning, the peer group as a whole steps up to play that role. For that to occur, however, a Container must be built to provide psychological safety so the group can indeed become a group, instead of a few dozen individual spotlights, each shining in its own direction. The Container provides an environment that nurtures vulnerability, intimacy, and relationships.
When you imagine a group coaching experience, you might picture a set of individuals, each on a personal development journey. But the truth is they are all on that journey together.
The struggles might be individual, but in reality, no one is solving them alone. Sharing individual challenges, and inviting others into this vulnerability, provides a superstructure of support and empathy for the whole group.
Group coaching, by definition, is an ongoing experience that supports change over time. Self-Awareness begets more Self-Awareness. It takes courage for someone to really look at how they are showing up (and getting in their own way) and identifying where they want to go next. This Self-Awareness creates a conscious engagement within the group, which in turn cultivates more empathetic and effective leaders.
While an individual person typically determines where they are stuck and what they envision for the future while taking part in 1:1 coaching, group coaching is different.
Because every group is unique, the Framework offers reflection space to support identifying both cohort and individual Outcomes for the experience, and to create a path of accountability that leads to empowerment and transformation.
These Outcomes can be shared 1:1 with the coach and with the peer group. The coach can also leverage these Outcomes in the design of the overarching experience as it relates to content and development.
Successful group coaching isn’t just about vulnerability. It’s about taking that vulnerability and applying it to Relevant Content that people can sink their teeth into—content with an application they can use both personally and professionally. This creates a support network, a web of accountability, whether to move mountains and progress higher on the career path, or simply build breadth and depth in a particular area. What is the content, you ask? That depends on the group’s needs and the Outcomes they and their organization set.
The Practice Arena
People need a space to contribute and share best practices. This is peer mentoring—and horizontal knowledge transfer—at its finest. Our Framework leverages the Mastermind, a brilliantly simple peer-learning vehicle with a three-step focus: Success, Challenge, and Request for Support. Creating an intentional developmental space for vulnerability is, in essence, about creating a vehicle where people can lean on one another to contribute and be contributed to by their peers. They develop much more powerfully—and curate belonging and connection—through learning from one another’s experience and lessons learned.
Coaching one another is the actionable application of learning. It is practicing vulnerability, being able to recognize and name emotions and their impact. It is what is at the heart of curating belonging because it requires a person to look at how they are holding themself back and holds them accountable to shift their choices. 1:1 Coaching is still very much needed inside every group coaching experience. As I’ve said, it is the gold standard. Only now, the responsibility doesn’t have to be one person’s alone.
The International Coaching Federation definition of 1:1 Coaching is elegantly simple: partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional growth.
Group coaching is amplifying that by creating the space for each and every person to learn how to become a coach to their peers.
Each cohort member gives (and receives) 1:1 Coaching throughout the span of the experience. It’s about building and sustaining relationships and developing intimacy that can open up possibilities far beyond what an individual could dream.
When I realized the magic that happens with The PEER Technology Framework, I committed to making sure as many people as possible realize they never have to grow alone. That’s the power of connection. The power of contribution.
That power is there all along, within every person, a flame waiting to be ignited. The PEER group acts as a mirror, reflecting and expanding the light we each shine. The more mirrors we have around us, the brighter everything becomes.