If you have been coaching for a while, you will have heard this a few times: “Trust the Process”. In group coaching it means trusting the group members to be curious explorers that will carve a path to where they need or want to go, without the coach leading the way.
And, it is hard to do. Very hard.
At GCHQ we explore this challenge when we talk about “Weaving the Thread” and regardless of who is in the cohort, we tend to hear the same things:
- “Don’t I need to deliver?”
- “I want to show my value.”
- “How will they get what they need?”
Yet, that thinking tends to serve our own personal needs for relevance and affirmation. If we are to serve our clients and help them achieve the mindset shifts that lead to true transformation, we must choose to “trust the process”.
Here are five techniques to help you do this:
- Before starting your group coaching session, give yourself a few minutes to visualize how you want to be experienced by your group. Will you be a lecturer? A consultant? A coach? Be clear on how you want to show up for your group.
- Slow down and slow the group down. Whenever you think the group has picked a new direction or theme to pursue, check in with them. It’s their journey. Although they may have found something to explore, it does not mean they will want to explore it right there and then.
- When you feel the urge to take the reins that is your signal NOT to. Before any group coalesces around a theme, there is going to be divergent thinking. As group coaches we can support the group by allowing for this divergence and then helping the group observe what surfaced. If we take over, that seed of an idea or clue to a discovery gets trampled and lost.
- Share. As coaches we create and ask powerful questions, but we don’t corner the market on this. Modeling powerful questioning and challenging group members to do the same for each other allows for discovery and transformation.
- Let silence be your friend. It will feel painful at first, but let silence help you bring out the group members. If you fill it in, the group members become spectators to you driving the moment.
“Trust the process” and let the magic happen!