Episode 173: How to Give & Receive Coaching to Unleash Your Ministry’s Potential

This episode cracks the code on coaching. Whether you’re coaching your team or connecting with a ministry coach of your own, you’ll learn how to maximize the impact of the each insight and unlock hidden potential.

Show Notes:

  • Key aspects of coaching:
    • Helping someone understand that they’re not alone. The things they are struggling with and feeling, the challenges they are facing, and the issues they see are normal. Often people feel like they’re the only one and that they shouldn’t be struggling with it.Make sure you are coaching rather than actually solving the problems and doing the work for the person.
      • Example: a baseball coach doesn’t hit the baseball for the player but helps them learn to swing and how to hit the ball. Consider, how you can help the team win the game without ever playing in the game.
      Get people out of “absolutist” thinking. “Should we do this OR this?” Consider both! Maybe a mix, a trial, a rotating schedule, etc. The key is helping people see beyond the boundaries that they are presupposing and don’t even realize they are putting in place.Make sure to get past the surface-level answer of “everything is fine” so that you can actually help them solve the problems that are actually going on. Creating solutions to problems that don’t exist won’t improve the overall situation.They should feel like their coach is always “in your corner.”
    How is coaching different than consulting? The difference isn’t a firm boundary. They can overlap somewhat and you can sometimes move back and forth between them. Coaching can usually fit under the umbrella of consulting (consulting is broader).
    • Consulting is often more corporate and coaching is more of the personal aspect of helping someone.
    As someone being coached: we need to have a posture of perpetual curiosity. That helps us remain teachable and continue growing. If there isn’t a felt need, that we need help, or even that we might benefit from the help/coaching, there will be resistance to what the coaching is trying to accomplish.
    • How do we lead people into a coaching relationship in such a way that someone going into coaching is not resistant?
      • The most important thing is that the person being coached can see that the person leading them (probably the person getting the coaching for them) is in their corner. So as leaders, we have to build that relationship, trust, and confidence first in order to maximize the coaching experience for our people.They can’t feel that the coaching is a threat. Otherwise, it will be hampered from the start and be an uphill battle.
    We also need to make sure our people are open to always getting better. Coaching doesn’t necessarily mean things are bad, but there is always better! “Let’s see if it’s helpful. If you hate it after a few sessions, that’s OK! We can talk through it.”As a coach, how do we make sure people are actually being productive and taking action based on these conversations? Rather than just another meeting where we talk and nothing changes.
    • It depends on the person. Sometimes, they are already off and running as soon as the coaching ends. Other times, we need to summarize the call with the action items, then check in during the month and give reminders, and then check in once more when we talk next.Ask a key question like, “That’s a great idea. What are the next steps?”Another good question is, “What is taking up brain space that shouldn’t be taking up brain space?” That helps surface things that need to have actions taken around them.
    There are times when venting is OK, healthy, and even necessary. But there are also times when we need to pivot away from that and move on from just complaining.
    • First, don’t dismiss what someone is experiencing. Listen well.Second, build the expectation that when people come with problems, they also come with suggested solutions.Also, remember that you don’t have to solve the whole problem the first time you talk about it. Let’s take a step or two that will decrease the problem and increase your joy some (even 10%), and then go from there. This helps remove the excuses. If you do that, and they are STILL constantly complaining, THEY might be the problem. They might be in a “Whoa is me,” kind of attitude.
      • If you see this, it could just be that they don’t actually KNOW what steps to take to help solve problems. All they feel they can do is point to problems!“It’s not about the nail” video.
    To coach someone and get them to open up, you often need to take time and build rapport. Find common ground. Work to show them that you don’t take yourself too seriously.
    • Also, name the issue! “It seems like this isn’t your favorite thing. How can I make this coaching more helpful and enjoyable for you?”It could also be that a particular coach isn’t the best fit for that person. That’s OK! Work to find another voice that can give input to them.Coaching is a trust-dependent relationship, so if that trust can’t be built, let’s not waste our time. Let’s find someone who fits with you better.If you the one receiving coaching, don’t be afraid to say that out loud (that you don’t feel like you’re connecting very well).As a coach, we must manage our own anxiety first. We have to not be worried about how well it will go and how they will accept us. It can’t be about us and our identity and how we feel about ourselves.
      • “If I have to be the doormat for a minute, in order for you to get through the door, it’s worth it.” -Mike Crane
      Once someone sees that the coaching is actually helping, it can go a long way to building trust and rapport.
    Contact Heather Kenny: heather.kenny@ministryarchitects.comContact Mike Crane: mike.crain@ministryarchitects.comConnect with Brandon Collins: brandoncollins.orgbrandon.collins@ministryarchitects.comConnect with Renee Wilson: renee.wilson@ministryarchitects.com