How to run an online workshop
In this blog we are sharing a simple step by step guide to running an online workshop session using our free download wheel of life tool.
Please use these free resources to grow your coaching business, by offering an introductory taster session or as part of your initial work with new clients. You can quickly adapt them for coaching one to one or with a small group.
If you are new to online or virtual coaching, please read our recent blog post on distance coaching that will help you understand how to use new technology.
Setting up your online workshop session
The most important thing to do is prepare, practice and publicise. Choose how you are going to run your online workshop session, then get the word out via social media and your professional networks. Maybe offer this as a free introductory taster session that looks at different areas of life. It will help with goal setting for any individuals or small groups wanting to bring positive changes to their lives.
Log in and relax
Remember, you are sharing your professional skills and experience for free. We are all human, so just be honest if something does go wrong. Everybody that joins is looking to learn something from you and you get to explain who you are and how you can help.
Welcome everybody as they log on and enter your virtual room. Remember to smile and check if anybody needs any assistance to fully participate in the session. When ready, you can start with a short introduction and then run through the objectives for the session.
Setting the scene
As with any new group, it’s important to for you to quickly give confidence that you can guide this process and create a safe environment where everybody is free to share information.
Remind everybody to listen without judgement and respect the opinion of others by using SLQU:
Silence – No prejudices
Listening – Active non-verbal
Questioning – Open and supportive
Understanding – Different viewpoints, reality and beliefs
Now you have set out the environment you would like to create in this session, you can ask people to quickly introduce themselves. This may not be possible if you have a large group, so maybe ask for a couple of people to say hello and share a little on what they would like to get out of this shared experience.
You may also wish to share a little more about yourself, your coaching style and any successes you have had running this type of session before. Remember this is your opportunity to talk to potential clients and win new business. But keep information generic and do not share any specific details on anybody in other groups you work with.
Tip: Now pause and check if everybody can hear and fully understands the objectives of the session before you move on.
Explain what balance in life is
Talk about the importance of balance within our lives and discuss how a 360 view of different areas of life can help identify any imbalance. You can quickly explain how this insight will create goals or set priorities that bring harmony and rebalance to each area of life.
Some initial questions to ask the group:
- How many people in the group feel their life is already in balance?
- What do they do to maintain harmony?
- How would they know if any area was in or out of balance?
- Are they already aware of any areas of their life that need rebalancing?
- What have they done to address any imbalance?
- What long term impact could an unbalanced life have on them?
Wheel of life
As the facilitator, your role is to regulate the session and make sure things stay on track. Its now time to introduce the wheel of life as a tool commonly used to check how balanced a life is. Talk through each of the different sections and ask everybody to work clockwise from the top and give each area a score from 1 to 5.
Career – How satisfied are you with your career and the tasks you deliver at work each day?
Money – How satisfied are you with your finances and how important is money to you?
Health – How healthy do you feel and do you exercise regularly?
Love – How satisfied or fulfilled are you by your relationship and are you able to spend quality time with friends and family?
Family – How close are you with your family and can you be open and honest with them?
Friends – Do you have close friends you talk to and can you ask for their help or support?
Recreation – How satisfied are you with your work life balance and do you have time for hobbies?
Environment – How do you feel about your environment and does it cause you any stress?
Put the score that feels right
Use a low score if they have a negative feeling about the area and a higher score if they have a more positive feeling. See if they can think of a situation they have been in for each section as it may help them validate the score they give.
Now ask the group to draw a single line clockwise from the first score at the top of the wheel. The line should pass through each section and join up each of the scores. This will instantly highlight any positive areas that are towards the outer edge and any areas that need attention because they are nearer the middle.
Tip: Ask the group to review their wheel and see if the scores are a surprise to anybody. Then see how the scores make them feel and if it motivates them to make a positive change.
Ask each member of the group to identify the area (or areas) that are nearest the middle of the wheel. See what action they could take to improve that score. See if the group have any common themes or can share examples of actions they will make. Ask what positive changes they will make to their lives.
Get the group to write these actions down as commitments. Suggest they take small steps initially so they have a sense of achievement. Then build on any momentum to make bigger changes as their confidence grows.
Explain how the scores from this initial introductory session can be used as a benchmark. It will help with any personal action planning and goal setting. Remind them you are available for any follow up one to one coaching to look at their individual scores. You can also suggest they think about reviewing their skills, beliefs, values and needs. These can all be used to help goal setting or action planning, and will help bring positive change to their lives.
Feedback and follow up
To finish off the session, it’s important you check in with the group one final time. Find out what they feel they have learned from this shared experience. Ask if anybody wants to share what they have learned from the session, however this should be voluntary. If you feel somebody in the group was feeling negative, ask to have a follow up call. Understand and address any issues or concerns they have.
And always follow up with a personal email message thanking them for their energy and contributions. Add a link to your website or social media and include your contact details. Suggest they get in touch to discuss their scores or for any other follow up or help they may need.
To support you in your coaching sessions, we have published a co-development workshop kit. It includes all you need to set up and run a group workshop. And our popular coaching manual gives you all the questions and support you need to run a successful coaching session.
Image: Thanks to Chris Montgomery for sharing their work on Unsplash..
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