Group Coaching vs. One-on-One Coaching: Choose Your Style

Article by Nelli Gevorgyan / Updated at .12 Apr 2024
8 min read
Group Coaching vs. One-on-One Coaching: Choose Your Style

What is the difference between one-on-one and group coaching in reality? Is one more efficient than another? Which one will benefit the client, and which one will benefit the coach? 

In this article, we will review everything related to coaching and popular styles and, of course, will cover the main differences between one-on-one and group coaching.

 

Definitions 

Before going into the unique characteristics of team coaching and 1:1 coaching, let’s see what each of them means and is designed for. 

Group coaching

Group coaching is a coaching process where the coach works with multiple individuals to guide them toward achieving goals and providing a supportive environment. Also, it can involve more than one coach.

Nowadays, this is one of the most popular and time-efficient forms of coaching. Instead of holding 1-hour sessions with 6 to 10 different students spending approximately 6 to 10 hours a day working, you can hold 2 group training sessions with the same amount of students and spend only 4 hours a day.  

Besides involving more than two coachees, it also automatically develops the skills to work with others. Group coaching contributes to improved communication, body language, listening, and speaking skills as a benefit.  

If you want to understand which coaching form works best, you have to know your audience and their needs. Plus, you should consider your ability to maintain and manage people individually and in groups. 

Individual coaching

Individual coaching or otherwise called one-on-one coaching is a coaching program aimed at transforming the lives of the individual. During the sessions, there is only a coach and the coachee. It shows an extremely individual-centric approach.

The coach helps the individual to create a plan for achieving their goals, provides feedback and support on their journey, and keeps them accountable to their commitments. 

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Main benefits 

Both coaching ways come with unique benefits for you as a coach and your client. Let’s briefly review how team and one-on-one coaching can be beneficial. 

Group coaching 

The primary and most essential advantages group coaching offers include:

  • More income. Technically, you charge around 30% less than for individual training, but you also manage to charge around 3-8 people at the same time, which gives you more profits.
  • Shared learning experience. This is one of the most outstanding benefits of group coaching. It provides coachees with an incredible opportunity to meet new people, share knowledge, and gain more through listening. 
  • More scalable as a business model. You get more time to host more coaching sessions making more money. It contributes to the expansion of your business more than individual sessions ever could. 
  • It contributes to the improvement of problem-solving and team-working skills.
  • It actively encourages relationship building 

Team coaching is generally more affordable than one-on-one coaching, as the coach can work with multiple clients simultaneously. 

Individual coaching 

One-on-one coaching sessions allow to deepen your experience in a specific area of the chosen niche. Other essential benefits individual coaching offers include the following: 

  • It creates a trustful atmosphere from the start. It is easier to share with a professional and one person rather than in a group. 
  • Focus on individual needs, and easier to design a program that meets the client's needs and guides them toward overcoming life challenges
  • When you get to know your clients better individually, it helps you to build stronger relationships for the future.
  • Easier to manage. During individual sessions, clients can not stay silent while others speak because there is no one besides you two, and it is easier to manage their progress, interstate, and participation level. 

One-to-one coaching is a more effective way to keep people accountable. This part can be more challenging in the case of groups. 

Disadvantages 

Sometimes, only advantages are not enough to make a choice. Therefore,  looking through the limitations can help you decide on a better version. 

Group coaching

We are not going to look at everything with pink glasses, aren’t we? Let’s take those off and analyze the main drawbacks of group coaching.  

  • Fewer chances to get personal. When you work in a group setting, you have to pay equal attention to all the participants. It may sometimes be challenging, as you may keep a unique approach for every individual in the group and, in the meantime, treat them as a group.  
  • Requires more advanced skills: If you want to host successful programs that bring results to your clients, you need more skills to manage groups efficiently. If you have the skills to manage groups effectively, this would be an advantage rather than a disadvantage for you. 
  • More challenging. It can be harder to manage groups and be able to show individual approaches to each of the participants. However, if you practice with time, it will become easier, and you can even forget that this was an issue. 

As you see, all the above-mentioned disadvantages can vanish as you continue to gain more skills ans experience. 

Individual coaching 

Let’s also take a look at the cons of one-to-one coaching sessions:

  • More time-consuming. Instead of holding two-hour sessions with five people, you may need to hold an hour and a half sessions with each of them, so you will spend more time working and less enjoying life. In this era of automation, it is vital to improving the approach of working less while giving the same quality and simultaneously spending less time on work. 
  • Higher fees per person. Not everyone can afford individual coaching sessions, so it potentially decreases the number of your clients. So, it will not be the best option for people looking for a cost-efficient option. 
  • Upscale may take longer than in the case of group coaching, as the industry is competitive. 

So, If you are seeking a business model that can be easily expanded, 1:1 coaching may not be the most efficient way for you.

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Group coaching and individual coaching

Now, it is time to take a look at the main differences between group coaching and individual/one-on-one coaching. 

The differences 

So, the main differences between individual coaching and group coaching are:

  • Individual coaching focuses more on mindset change meanwhile group coaching briefly covers that aspect and does not aim at a deep transformation as an individual one
  • Around 3 to 8 participants can participate in a group coaching session; meanwhile, one-on-one means that only the coach and the coachee will be participating.
  • Group coaching is more systemized and saves more time compared to one-on-one coaching. 
  • Individual coaching sessions are easier to manage, and it is easier to track the progress of the coachee. 

The similarities 

What about the similarities between these two? You can see a few presented down below:

  • Both are coaching, which is by itself a process that focuses on hear and now, instead of past or future 
  • Both are individual-centric and aim to guide the client towards reaching their goals and full potential
  • Both are efficient. It just depends on the client’s individual preferences and the management skills of the coach.

Are you prepared to make a choice?

Well, we are at the most crucial part - the choice. Technically, you do not have to choose and can offer both; here, there is only the question of preferences. However, many coaches who start with one-on-one sessions prefer more group coaching, as they can manage time a lot better. It also depends on your level. It may be easier to hold one-on-one coaching sessions as a beginner, but it will become increasingly complex and time-consuming as you grow your audience.  

How to choose?

To make sure you choose the option fitting you best, consider the following factors:

  • Your audience’s needs and wants. It is not only about you. It’s also about your clients. Some may prefer the accountability of group coaching, while others prefer a more individualized approach. 
  • Your niche and area of expertise.  You can make a choice depending on your niche or a specific topic you discuss during sessions. There may be topics that require confidentiality, so you prefer to discuss them individually. 
  • The business model you want.  Which one suits your desired business model and covers all your business goals? 

We would recommend offering both types of coaching. First, when you do not have so many clients to manage, you can hold individual sessions and concentrate on their progress and implementation of your skills in practice. Then when you collect testimonials and gain more awareness on the market, therefore more clients, you can also offer group coaching sessions.  

The clock is ticking! But the choice is up to you.

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Will you start coaching now?

I guess it is time to start your coaching business now. Why? Because this is one of the fastest-growing and most in-demand industries nowadays. All you need to do is choose the platform, think of USP, and start marketing yourself.  

By the way, one of the best platforms on which you can build a full-featured online e-learning/coaching business is Uteach. Uteach allows you to create a website in less than 2 minutes and use an incredible set of a tool such as:

  • Website Builder that includes visual drag & drop editor 
  • Course Builder with SEO-optimization tools
  • End-to-end live sessions automation & lots of useful integrations  

So, by choosing Uteach as your online coaching business platform, you gain an incredible opportunity to save time and simultaneously grow your business faster than ever.

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TL;DR
  ? Too Long; Didn't Read

Group coaching and individual coaching have many similarities. Both are client-centered processes that focus on the present moment and aim to guide clients toward achieving their goals. Team and one-to-one coaching can both be conducted online.


They have differences too. While individual coaching emphasizes mindset transformation more, group coaching tends to cover this aspect more briefly. It does not target a deep individual transformation to the same extent. They also differ in terms of manageability and number of participants.