By Martin Goodyer (United Kingdom)

Is it group coaching or team coaching, and does it matter what it’s called?

Coaching ‘one to one’ is both a skill and an art; it takes many hours of training in the use of communication techniques and understanding important aspects of human behaviour and psychology. Coaching ‘one to many’ is even more of a skill and requires an artful approach that walks a fine line between coaching and other facilitative disciplines. It’s confusing – even for coaches. Ask twenty coaches the difference between team and group coaching and you may well get twenty different answers.  The confusion isn’t helped by business professionals buying the service. Recently I received a phone call that went something like this:

“Hi Martin, it’s John here. You coached my colleague Sarah and she speaks very highly of you so, I was wondering if you did anything with teams and team building?”

“Good to speak with you John; do you mind me asking…what specifically are you wanting to achieve from a team event?”

“Well, I’ve got eight people in my team and we need to do something to improve performance.”

Source: iCN Issue 5 (Leadership Coaching); pages 10-11