5 Effective Group Coaching Approaches for the Professional Nurse Coach

Exploring coaching with a Nurse is one of the most valuable investments you can make!

Whether it be health coaching, life coaching, group coaching, professional development coaching, business coaching, ALL are an investment in yourself and improving an aspect of your incredible life.

Coaching is a process, and when both you and your clients put your whole hearts and souls into that process, magic is created, results are achieved and then, it’s time to celebrate!   And when you can connect many hearts and souls together, and celebrate in unison, that is group coaching!

Group Coaching has powerful benefits since there is shared energy, knowledge and wisdom and many varied viewpoints gathered up into one cohesive space.  It’s exciting, and it can also feel overwhelming when dreaming about creating a group coaching program

Here are 5 Effective Group Coaching Approaches

This article magnifies 5 key things I’ve learned through creating and hosting many group programs as a Nurse Coach.

1. Keep it Simple

Since there’s so much complexity in the group setting, it’s best to keep it simple.  Complexity comes in the form of varied personalities, different styles, cultures, and opinions. 

You’ll be faced with distinct knowledge and experience levels, diverse goals, ideas and approaches to the same topic.  No one can truly predict the differences in a group, so keeping your vison for the group simple so you can focus on the distinct needs of the people there is imperative!

Questions to ask yourself:

  • What does simple mean to me?
  • What kinds of people are showing up in front of me?  What similarities, connections or complexities are arising?
  • What am I noticing in myself while thinking about complexity? 

2. Establish Shared Group Agreements

Each person in attendance may have a different goal than the person sitting beside them, and those goals will be different from you, despite all your marketing and preparations. So, it’s a great practice to spend some time at the beginning of each session or group of sessions to establish shared group agreements.  

Agreements set the stage for a safe and sacred space to share time and energy with each other. You can use a whiteboard and magic marker and then illicit suggestions from the group to add to your list.  I often start with something like, “When you’re in a group setting, what kind of agreements would you like to have the group uphold, to make your space safe and respectful?”, followed by silence.  Then wait for the first person to speak up.  Write down everything anyone says.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • What kinds of agreements would I like to have in my group?  (If no one says those things, add them to the list yourself!)
  • What will it feel like inside me to wait in silence until someone shares an agreement?
  • What could I do if no one shares an agreement?  How can I prompt after silence?

3. Plan and be ready to switch

When you’ve established a safe and accepting container for heart-to-heart conversation, your group will begin to share without worry, and sometimes the amount of time you have for planned agendas will dwindle very quickly!  It’s a great ‘problem’ to have!

Have a plan, yes, and be ready to switch it, or adjust on the fly.  Resist the urge to pack in a bunch of fluff and activities. Remember #1. Keep it simple. 

Questions to ask yourself:

  • What are my ‘must-do’ things for this session? How can I plan those first?
  • What will happen if I don’t get to all I’ve planned?
  • How can I accept that the group may veer off from my planned agenda?

4. Consider a Check-In and a Wrap-Up

Generally, group coaching sessions start with an opener and check in, and close with a reflection, or goal setting and a closing.

5 Effective Group Coaching Approaches For The Professional Nurse Coach

A check-in provides shared moments to get grounded and focused and allows every voice to be heard right away. Check-ins can be used as celebration or reflection of the time in between sessions.

Questions you could use as a check-in:

  • What’s the weather report inside you right now?
  • What are you celebrating today?
  • What did you notice in yourself as you were getting here for this session?
  • What’s one success you’ve experienced since our last session?

The wrap-up is towards the end of a session (be sure to allot 10-15 minutes for this important process!), and provides group members a chance to reflect on their learnings, set goals or commitments and define their next steps.  This also allows each person to hear from each other again, and connect threads, ideas and impacts to shared humanity.

Questions you could use as a wrap-up:

  • What’s become clearer to you now?
  • Share one emotion you are noticing inside you
  • What are you taking away from this time together?
  • What’s the next step for you?

5. Be Open to Different Approaches

As a Nurse Coach you are not tied to client outcomes, and the same holds true for group coaching sessions, so be open to different approaches.

Groups are dynamic and individual, there is not one roadway to travel, so stay open to all approaches and continue to learn and expose yourself to options!

5 Effective Group Coaching Approaches For The Professional Nurse Coach

Group Coaching conversations could be:

  • Whole group participation
  • Small group chats
  • Mindfulness work
  • Movement practices
  • Breakouts of trios or dyads
  • Internal journaling for deeper dives and then taken to a small group for shared learnings

Questions to ask yourself:

  • What is my intention for this approach?
  • What will my group like to explore?
  • What type of conversation could get to the heart of the matter quickly?
  • How will I ‘set up’ moving from large to small groups?


When you’re creating a group coaching program, these are 5 things to consider as you plan:

  1. Keep it Simple- the complexity is in the participants
  2. Establish Shared Group Agreements- keeps everyone in a shared sacred and safe space
  3. Plan and be ready to Switch- have a plan and be fluid
  4. Consider a Check-In and a Wrap-Up- to get voices in the room early, connection, focus and action
  5. Be Open to Different Approaches- to keep things interesting, fresh and to maximize potential

What did I miss?  Share some of your group coaching learnings in a comment below to inspire fellow Coaches!

Nurse Coach Nicole, xo

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Nicole Vienneau

Nicole Vienneau MSN, RN, NC-BC is a recovering burned-out ICU Nurse.  Through Integrative Nurse Coaching and holistic modalities, she’s on the daily voyage to well-becoming.

Nicole is founder Restoration Room  and Blue Monarch Health, an author, podcast host of the Integrative Nurse Coaches in ACTION!, holds a board certification in Integrative Nurse Coaching and combines 20+ years of Nursing with 30+ years of fitness, health coaching and energy work to partner with mid-life women and healthcare workers who want to THRIVE!

She loves her husband, her two crazy cats and enjoys being in nature and having fun.

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