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5 Tips for Designing a Group Health Coaching Session

by: Sarah Appleby
Published: March 7, 2017
Updated: June 23, 2022

Research has shown that health coaching improves the management of chronic disease. However, individual health coaching remains out of financial reach for many people.

Group health coaching provides a cheaper alternative for those under financial pressure and has the potential to reach more people than one-on-one health coaching.

Group health coaching is also a clever way to scale your business without putting in additional work hours.

Here are 5 tips to help you design a group health coaching session.

1. Make It Irresistible

The best way to draw in clients is to make your program irresistible to your target market. To do this, you need to establish who your target market is. The simplest way to do this is to identify who are going to be the easiest clients for you to find.

Once you have picked a specific “who” you can address the concerns of your target market. For example, let’s say that the easiest clients for you to find are the 30-something year old women that you train as part of your personal training business. You have identified that your target market’s specific health concerns are regaining their pre-baby bodies and feeling more energized in every day life.

Now that you have identified your target market and what their main health concerns are, you can now build your group health coaching strategy around addressing the concerns that your target market has in relation to their health goals.

In our example this is likely to be centered around topics such as:

  1. How to achieve hormonal homeostasis;
  2. Sharing tasty and nutritious meal ideas to feed the entire family;
  3. The importance of getting enough sleep.

2. Reach Out to Your Target Market

The next aspect of making your group health coaching program irresistible is find people to fill your group. This may initially feel a little intimidating, but with some thoughtful planning, you will see that you have quite a few options and we’ve brainstormed and listed a few below.

Use your professional connections. If we continue with our current example, this would be your personal training clients. Let them know about your exciting new service.

Contact groups, associations and clubs within your local area. Continuing with the current example, you could get in contact with the local mothers groups and playgroups in your local area. Introduce yourself to these communities as people are more likely to sign up for your services if they feel connected to you.

Personal network. These are your friends and family. If they fit your target market, give them a call!

Social media. Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Snapchat, social media has an exponential reach, so make the most of it and start spreading the word about your group health coaching sessions.

3. Make It Fun

Making your group sessions fun is a fantastic way to keep your participants engaged and to keep them coming back for more. Here are some ideas that you may want to incorporate into your group learning session.

Make it interactive. Play an icebreaker game . Incorporating a 3-5 minute game at the start of every session can relieve nerves and promote interaction between your clients.

Provide name tags. Take away the uncomfortable feeling we all get when we immediate forget the name of someone you’ve just met by providing name tags.

Make it social. Building a sense of community is one of the most essential aspects to making your group coaching fun for your clients. This can be achieved in many ways and here are a few ideas you can try.

  • Be genuine and give your clients the real you. You will be amazed at what you receive in return.
  • Form a Facebook group. This is where your group coaching clients can share posts, ideas, recipes, ask questions freely, discuss topics of interest, share jokes and basically hang out online.
  • Encourage everyone to bring a plate of healthy food to share. This works on a couple of levels. Firstly, it promotes healthy eating and gives your clients the chance to prepare a healthy dish for a social occasion. It also promotes the sharing of recipes and provides a great conversation starter amongst group members.

4. Make It Applicable to Everyday Life

It’s difficult to stay engaged when you don’t understand the purpose of the knowledge. Rather than simply telling your clients about a particular topic, give them first-hand concrete examples of how this knowledge can be applied in everyday life.  An example is to review a menu at a local café, and in small groups critically assess what the healthiest choices would be and why. This exercise is great because you’re educating your clients on how to make the healthiest choices in a real-life situation. Similarly you can:

  • Visit the local grocery store or farmer’s market and shop for healthy foods in real time;
  • Provide packaged food products and analyze Nutrition Facts labels together;
  • Hold a session in your or a participant’s kitchen for a pantry purge exercise, eliminating inferior foods.

5. Do It with Confidence!

It’s normal to feel a little self-doubt, especially when tackling a new venture. Self-belief is key to your success, throughout the entire process from planning all the way through to running your own group health coaching sessions.

Here are a few tips to keep your confidence high when self-doubt starts to creep in:

  • Look at what you have already achieved. Focus on what you have done and not on what you haven’t achieved.
  • Focus on your strengths. Write out a list of all the things you’re good at.
  • Talk yourself up. Squash any negative thoughts you may have floating around in your head, as this can have a huge impact on your self-confidence.
  • Be prepared. Being prepared will help to keep your confidence high throughout the entire process. For example, jot down a few key points you want to say when contacting former clients or following up on networking opportunities. You can also practice how your group coaching on family and friends. This will build your confidence and help iron out any problem areas.

To recap, here are the 5 tips was have explored in this post:

  1. Make it irresistible.
  2. Reach out to your target market.
  3. Make it fun.
  4. Make it applicable to everyday life.
  5. Do it with confidence.

With 80% of all chronic disease being due to preventable lifestyle habits, there is a need to shake up the current health care format. Group health coaching gives people who are not in a financial situation to spend money on one-on-one health coaching an opportunity to seek guidance from a health coach and to meet a community of like-minded individuals; which may be all they need to keep their health on track.

Now tell us what you think! Leave a comment below to start or join the discussion...

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