In addition to the previous topic, this one focuses on your relationship as a coach with a larger group of students. Individual coaching in student support focuses on addressing the unique challenges and goals of a single student, offering tailored guidance and strategies. In contrast, group coaching brings together multiple students, leveraging collective insights, shared experiences, and peer interactions to foster collaborative learning and problem-solving. While individual coaching provides personalised attention, group sessions can promote community-building and peer-driven insights.
–> this visual is made for academic coaching, but some of it applies to coaching student reps as well! – https://www.learnpick.in/blog/individual-tuitions-vs-group-tuitions-how-to-decide
“The power of collective growth”
Transitioning from the one-on-one dynamics of individual coaching, group coaching introduces an entirely new dimension—the collective. Here, students come together, bringing a plethora of experiences, insights, and perspectives to the table. The coach, in this setting, acts more as a facilitator, guiding discussions, fostering collaborative learning, and ensuring a safe space for open dialogue. The magic of group sessions lies in their potential for community-building and the emergence of peer-driven insights. Students learn not just from the coach, but from each other, enriching their understanding and creating a supportive learning ecosystem.
For student support staff, facilitating group coaching requires a balance between structure and flexibility. The coach’s role is to guide the session, ensuring everyone has a voice and that the group stays on track, all while allowing organic interactions and peer-led discussions to unfold. When executed effectively, group coaching can not only address individual concerns but also instil a sense of belonging, promote interpersonal skills, and foster a culture of collaborative problem-solving among students.
If you want to know more about potential topics for group coaching, we advise you to take a look at module 7: training!
Now that you have seen the example of UCLL, we invite you to reflect on your own context with the help of the following reflective questions:
- Uderstanding your role?
- How do I define my role as a coach to student representatives?
- What expectations do I believe the student reps have of me, and how am I meeting them?
- Coaching techniques:
- Which coaching techniques have I found to be most effective when working with student reps?
- Are there any techniques I’ve tried that didn’t work as expected? Why might that be?
- Feedback mechanisms:
- How often do I seek feedback from the student representatives about our coaching sessions?
- What changes have I made based on this feedback?
- Mentoring vs. facilitating:
- How do I balance my roles as a mentor and facilitator?
- Are there instances where I felt more like one than the other? Why?
- Addressing personal matters:
- How comfortable do I feel when personal matters arise during coaching sessions?
- What strategies do I use to ensure I maintain boundaries while also providing support?
- Group dynamics:
- How do I ensure that individual coaching complements group dynamics and peer learning?
- Are there opportunities I may be missing to encourage group interactions and shared learning?
- Knowledge and networking:
- How familiar am I with the different structures, staff, and resources within the university that can aid student reps?
- How often do I engage with colleagues to discuss and refine our approaches to student engagement?
- Growth and development:
- How have I grown as a coach over the past year?
- What areas do I believe I need further training or support in to better assist student representatives?
- Impact and outcome:
- How do I measure the success of my coaching sessions?
- Can I identify tangible outcomes or changes in student reps that have resulted from our sessions?
Want to know more about how to build a coaching program? The podcast ‘The Coaching Masters Podcast’ by Dayana Taylor is a free podcast on Spotify and gives insights into some interesting topics. We would specifically advise you to listen to 3 episodes:
- ‘coaching vs solution focused therapy’ - 28 min. (https://open.spotify.com/episode/6vknIztXsAVFoqhIVqPZhi?si=xw3pOEHDQEKlmKMUUh0vZw&fbclid=IwAR1vsCO8lqSFRvndIFWOx8BAPiZfIsNDcFDytmMZNykTW-Lvmwg8ceVmrKg&nd=1 ),
- ‘What makes a successful coach’ - 29 min. (https://open.spotify.com/episode/0vOIKgXoDGrbaPzFG3j4u0?si=d-ba0W7aTk2tpMLFrm9ImQ&fbclid=IwAR1pFU1F710VA0cTghKS94wXX22o5ZaD6xhO34Z9Pa416m3kCt8idu8W1-k&nd=1)
- ‘The Top 5 Questions every coach should ask’ - 25 min (https://open.spotify.com/episode/4QMnup0aAxrKSIplSYILC6?si=V3xs-Jy8Q4Ko3WfJChJewg&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=fb_messenger&fbclid=IwAR3OTTz2VRLFoDM9YNce0lQYX6GRhsnfZp6UMwdoPFmnxCYlI5akXH-COSo&nd=1).
The podcast does not focus on coaching of students, but nevertheless can be inspiring to get comfortable in a role as ‘student coach’.