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Fishbowl Coaching

Fishbowl Coaching is an interactive and observational activity designed to provide real-time coaching and feedback in a group setting. Participants take turns being coached in a “fishbowl” (inner circle) while others observe, learn, and offer insights. This activity promotes transparency, active listening, and collaborative problem-solving.


The facilitator explains the purpose and structure of Fishbowl Coaching, emphasizing the roles of the participants (coachee, coach, and observers) and the importance of respectful feedback.

Start by arranging chairs in two concentric circles. The inner circle (fishbowl) will have 2-4 chairs for the coachee and coaches, while the outer circle is for the observers.

A volunteer coachee from the inner circle presents a challenge or topic they need help with. One or more coaches in the fishbowl ask questions, provide feedback, and offer advice. Observers in the outer circle listen attentively, noting key points and preparing to offer their perspectives later.

After the coaching session, observers share their observations, additional insights, and constructive feedback. The coachee reflects on the feedback and discusses potential next steps.

Rotate participants, ensuring new volunteers enter the fishbowl for the next round of coaching. Repeat the process for additional rounds as time allows.

After several rounds, gather participants for a group reflection. Discuss common themes, successful coaching strategies, and the overall experience.

The facilitator wraps up the activity, emphasizing the value of collaborative coaching and continuous feedback. Encourage participants to apply the insights gained to their work and personal development.


1 - 2 hours depending on the number of volunteers.

Number of People: 

Suitable for groups of any size, ideally 15-30 participants for effective observation and interaction.


  • Improved coaching and feedback skills

  • Enhanced problem-solving through collaborative discussions

  • Increased empathy and understanding among team members

  • Development of a supportive and open communication culture

Fishbowl Coaching creates a transparent environment for real-time learning and growth, allowing team members to benefit from diverse perspectives and collective wisdom.

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