How Do I Foster a Safe Space in My Group Coaching Program?
Are you a coach who wants to foster a safe space inside your group coaching programs? Great, this blog is for you!
I know there’s so much that goes into creating a group container, including creating a space where a group of strangers can share intimate details of their life and business, despite initial vulnerabilities, to truly find the transformation they’re seeking.
With this in mind, I want to give you a few simple tips on how to create and foster a safe space inside your group coaching program.
What are the expectations you should set in your coaching program?
It all starts with your coaching agreement and having the rights to enforce certain expectations.
Confidentiality isn’t only meant to protect you and each participant, but it’s also meant to protect each participant from one another. When your participants share their personal struggles, or other ideas with sensitive business information, these things are all expected to stay within the group. This means that no one will leverage the information, act on it, or share it with someone outside of the group.
REMEMBER: These clauses aren’t only about having them in your contract but also speaking them into existence, by sharing with your group your expectations for the space you’re creating.
The strength of every group coaching program is the diversity of thought. With that said, the beliefs shared by a participant (or speaker) may not reflect your beliefs. For this reason, you should have a disclaimer that sets the tone by saying, “Either the participants of our program or our guest speakers may share some of their opinions, however, my business does not expressly share such opinions.”
Having this disclaimer is good, but you shouldn’t stop there. You should also include that you don’t condone harassing, discriminatory, or abusive behavior (or content).
Outside of removing content that does not abide by this policy, , you may also remove people from a certain situation, which leads us to the next topic.
Sometimes, someone isn’t just the right fit. Worse, some people can be a potential disruptor to creating a safe environment for the rest of your group.
With that said, you have the right to terminate participants if they breach confidentiality, your communication policy, or any of the other terms and conditions within your Coaching Agreement.
All these acts are disruptive to the group. They’re violations of your Coaching Agreement, so you have the right to remove people immediately within your sole discretion and without a refund.
Always remember that you’re a coach, and you’re here to lead. Part of leading and creating transformation is holding your participants to their commitments.
Just remember, putting confidentiality, disclaimers, and termination in place with the foresight to protect the safe space you’re creating is important. When you show up into your group, serve the people inside it, and the group starts to communicate, share, and transform together, you’ll be happy that you had the foresight to not only set the expectation but also the ability to enforce it when necessary.
I wish you the best of luck in creating and fostering a safe space for your group coaching program. Evaluate whether you lack a Coaching Agreement or some of the expectations mentioned above—it’s never too late to set clear expectations.