If you’ve trained to work one to one, when you are coaching you’ll have a skills set that focuses on your client, giving them your full attention. When the opportunity comes to do groupwork, it can be daunting as you’ll need to learn some different approaches and techniques. It can feel tricky at first, having to divide your attention and manage the needs of several people at once. If you’re helping folk find direction or plan their future, its not quite the same as teaching.
This is exactly why we wrote The Groupwork Toolkit. Ann and I had been training careers advisers and coaches in coaching skills for some time, when the goalposts were moved and they were all expected to work with groups instead of with individuals. I remember the misgivings and reluctance from the delegates at the time; many of them were understandably nervous, feeling ill equipped.
We ran some training, firstly focusing on helping them recognise their transferable skills, then identifying the gaps they needed to fill. Adding in some groupwork theory, learning styles and tips for managing difficult types of participant, we realised that we had the makings of a follow up to The One to One Toolkit. All these topics are covered in The Groupwork Toolkit. It will give you enough theory, tools and techniques to give you the confidence to work with groups effectively. If you have already made the leap to groupwork for coaching, you still might find useful strategies or exercises to help you improve your practice.
That was seven years ago. I’m pleased to say that both books are still regularly bought by universities and training providers, as well as individuals. If you’d like to see if it would be right for you, there is a free sample on the book’s page here.