AbstractPurpose: The aim of this study was to explore the role of group coaching in developing leadership effectiveness within the context of a business school leadership development programme, which included both classroom facilitation and group coaching.Design/methodology/approach: The study adopted a sequential, mixed-methods approach, combining a pre-programme and post-programme, 360-degree, multisource feedback instrument and in-depth interviews with South African women managers to assess changes in their leadership effectiveness.Findings/results: The results indicate that participants? leadership effectiveness had changed significantly as a result of the programme. More specifically, the group coaching dimension appeared to play a role in developing personal competence, evidenced in participants? enhanced sense of direction, self-awareness, self-confidence and relationship with their authentic self. It also appeared to facilitate the development of social competence, evidenced in participants? enhanced understanding of, and relations with, others, as well as their ability to empower others. This was made possible by affording participants a psychologically safe place in which learning and growth could take place and by providing them with external inputs and feedback.Practical implications: The positive role played by group coaching in developing leadership effectiveness in a business school leadership development programme suggests that the learning approach could be replicated in other academic environments and in corporate settings.Originality/value: The framework that was developed suggests that group coaching can contribute to the building of personal and social competence in a leadership development programme. This framework may assist other practitioners to motivate for the inclusion of group coaching in their leadership development programmes.