Coaching 101

I’ve recently started a journey to gain some ministry coaching skills with the eventual goal of becoming certified as a coach. I’ve searched several websites, friends, and organizations to find the process that seems to fit me best and have landed with CoachNet Global. Their website is filled with resources and online classes. Their emphasis on coaching as ministry resonates better with me than the coaching for income emphasis I’ve come across at others sites.

The centerpiece of CoachNet’s basic training is the book Coaching 101 by Robert Logan and Sherilyn Carlton  which I’ve just finished. In this book the authors focus on the basics with an opening chapter defining what coaching is and isn’t (it’s not counseling, advising, instructing, or managing) and then developing their “Five Rs” of a good coaching process. Here’s their summary of the coaching process from page 29 – each of which are developed in appropriate detail in chapters 2-6:

  • Relate – Establish coaching relationship and agenda
  • Reflect – Discover and explore key issues
  • Refocus – Determine priorities and action steps
  • Resource – Provide support and encouragement
  • Review – Evaluate, celebrate, and revise plans

The final two chapters help the prospective coach by presenting several guidelines for developing effective coaching relationships (chpt 7) and steps to getting started as a coach (chpt 8).

This short volume (120 pages) would be an extremely valuable first step for those exploring a coaching ministry or those who just want to develop some foundational coaching skills. I found the book to very helpful in establishing a personal plan of action that will lead to certification and an effective way to fulfill my ordination charge – to equip God’s people for works of service.

The next book that CoachNet recommends is Developing Coaching Excellence. Other coaching books that are in my reading stack include: Co-Active Coaching, Becoming a Professional Coach, Christian Coaching, and Coaching Questions. They will all eventually be reviewed here.

I’m convinced that coaching is a tool that all second chair leaders should have. It’s a very effective way to help leaders (especially volunteers) find success and fulfillment in their personal lives and in their role in your organization. Coaching turns the conventional autocratic management practice on its head through the use of questions rather than directives. Those questions are not, “Did you do what I asked you? Why not? When will you get it done?” But are more like, “What are you working on? How is that going for you? What obstacles are you facing? What resources do you need to finish? Where can you find those resources? What are you going to do next?”

These are skills that I have lacked over the years and would have served me well in a variety of postions I’ve held. I’m excited to begin this journey, but like most adventures I wish I had started earlier!

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