Virtual coaching groups are clients that are geographically separated that take part in group coaching programs. They come together live on a phone teleconference using technology such as Maestro Conference (which was designed specifically for group coaching and even has the ability to break participants into dyads or smaller groups as is appropriate), SKYPE audio and video, Google Hangouts or other similar technology. In 2013 I had a group of 9 senior HR executives from different geographic locations and companies do a Gamechanger Group Coaching program over three months. For most the virtual model was a new learning experience and format and they were amazed with the power of connection and how impactful the sessions of these group coaching programs were even without the visual dimension.
Here is how some of the participants described their experience:
- Initially, I didn’t know what to expect. How open would I be in a virtual setting? I questioned how effective this model would be. Was I wrong! I found it to be an extremely effective method for coaching. First, the technology and management of time was handled extremely well and allowed participants to be able to speak openly and frankly, and learn from each other. I had many insightful moments as I listened to other colleagues and their views about issues, situations, etc. I highly recommend the group coaching model for anyone wanting to challenge themselves in an environment that is safe, facilitated by one of the best executive coaches around!
- I recently participated in a HR Executive Game Changers virtual group coaching program. So many positive results came out of the sessions for me. Very enlightening and empowering. The icing on the cake was the wonderful group of HR Executives that participated. I was inspired, challenged, and supported. We had lively, authentic conversations!
- I truly enjoyed the virtual group coaching experience and highly recommend this model to anyone looking to accelerate their executive and leadership toolkit.
- In addition to my HR senior leadership experience I am an executive coach myself. I had never been involved with virtual group coaching before, but I am a believer now. The opportunity to share in a safe environment, and be challenged to “think Big” and think about my “Why” was very powerful, and I would recommend this format to anyone.
- The virtual sessions were well planned, well structured and expertly facilitated to provoke thinking and sharing at a deeper level. I will admit to having reservations on how conducive a “virtual” platform would be to meaningful sharing. Happy to report that the program was very effective and provided great insights. The entire program was well planned, and effectively facilitate
- I recently participated in a virtual group coaching opportunity with other senior HR executives. Suzanne has exceptional skill with her ability to ask thought-provoking questions that encourage me to look at my life through a different lens. With her guidance, I find I can shake off my habit of “seeing darkly” and realize new visions of who I am and gain clearer insights about how I can achieve my goals. I also benefited from listening to the other participants, as they shared their challenges, triumphs, concerns and joys. It was humbling to participate in these open, candid conversations with a team of strong executives who are all striving to be their best both personally and professionally. I love that Suzanne is a fervent advocate for living one’s life to the fullest. She provides a safe environment where I can explore big life themes and also inspires me to new ideas that I can put into practice. I am truly grateful!
- If you want to dig deep, reflect and plan for your future, I enthusiastically endorse the virtual program. The group was coached with thought provoking questions and helped us to think big and gain more insights than I have seen in other coaching opportunities. Simply the best!
I usually keep my virtual group coaching programs to a size of 8 participants or less to make sure that everybody has an opportunity to engage in a quality way. Meetings are supported by a structure and toolkit which help create engagement, connection and learning at all levels.
- Meetings are usually an hour and a half in length and scheduled at a time allowing participants from different parts of the world to participate
- Participants have 1-1’s with me and/or my partner coach before and after the program starts. Each participant will also have the opportunity for 2 laser coaching sessions with one of us during the program.
- All participants will also have peer partner laser coaching opportunities in between sessions
- The program is anchored into a Playbook which is delivered in weekly modules
- The group has its own listserv and a private web site area with information on participants as well as Chat capability with Suzanne in between sessions
- The group has its own professional Magazine with trending articles relevant for the program
- State -of-the art teleconferencing technology is used, including the ability to have breakouts during sessions
- A copy of mp3 recordings are provided (but cannot be shared beyond the participants)
- Subject matters experts serving as discussion catalysts may be brought in for brief segments throughout the program