The conversation goes something like this.
Coach asks: “Who is doing effective ministry in your area?”
- Leader responds: “Everyone is struggling with the same issues.”
Coach asks: “What other models of church are you familiar with in your region or in other parts of the country?”
- Leader: “I’m not aware of other models.”
Coach asks: “Who do you know that could introduce you to a different way of doing church?”
- Leader: “I don’t know anyone.”
Coach asks: “Would you be open to learning about one leader who has an effective model?”
And the conversation continues. I use that question as a last resort so that I don’t short-change the self-discovery process. The guiding principle I follow when I provide feedback is:
- The leader must exhaust all their resources.
- There is the possibility the leader could do some real damage.
- Permission has been given by the leader to the coach.
Honestly, the temptation to give advice is always present. But I know deep down that “struggle” is the best teacher!
What do you do when you come to that juncture in your coaching? Under what circumstances do you give advice? I would love to hear what you do.
If you are interested to hear about a different approach to doing church, watch this 17 minute video with Dave Ferguson interviewing Ralph Moore. Ralph discusses some of the tensions accompanying church planting as a movement leader. Learn how a church committed to reproducing disciples, leaders and churches keeps the main thing, the MAIN thing!.
Coaching a 40-something leader I discovered a significant difference when coaching his Gen X counterpart. My mature friend was focused on achieving his goals; however, he was not as concerned about his work-life balance in comparison to his younger counterpart. That insight informed ways I could engage each.
Further, while the goal they were both pursuing was similar, the path they took was very different. Both were eager to establish a new church or ministry.
With the more seasoned leader I asked more task-oriented, “what” kind of questions:
- What is your goal?
- What is in your way?
- What can you do to expand?
And more relational, “who” kind of questions with the younger planter:
- Who will it reach?
- Who could it miss?
- Who else can you include?
These are broad generalizations, yet subtle differences reveal different approaches to can engage different people from different generations.
For further insight in generational differences, see the following 1-page resources under Generational Differences:
- Generational Characteristics
- Generational Core Values
- Generational Leadership Style Preferences
- Generational Motivation Preferences
- Generational Team Preferences
- Generational Communication Preferences
How do you work with someone who has been in the workforce for thirty years (50+ years of age) as opposed to three years (30-40’s years of age)? Take into consideration the following scenario.
First time church planter (in their 30’s) – high on vision & low on experience. I coached a new church planter who primarily asked “how to” questions to process his philosophy of ministry, challenges he encountered and self-discovered action steps. I challenged his thinking by asking pointed questions to help him realize that he has the resources inside himself to take the next steps in his church planting journey. The new church planter is in many ways, unaware of what he/she does not know.
Contrast him with a seasoned leader – high on vision & high on experience. The seasoned leader (50+ years of age) asked “what” and “when” questions. He has a rich experience base to draw from and his confidence runs deep. The seasoned leader is in many ways more aware of what he/she does not know.
Following are reflection questions for you as the coach to consider during the when coaching across generational lines:
- What questions are they asking?
- What kind of help are they seeking from you?
- What is the best way for you to support them as a coach?
There exists real differences that are important to recognize when coaching across generational and experiential lines – see the Generational Differences resources for more insight into these subtleties.
It is easy to get excited about coaching or a training initiative without understanding the true impact.
How many times have you heard colleagues discuss a new training process or coaching resource? And then get partway through the experience without understanding the impact on you or your organization. Wouldn’t it be worthwhile to consider the potential Return on Investment (ROI) before you start?
Consider a coaching relationship. When you or I establish a coach agreement we ask the leader to create goals. Over the course of the next year we work towards achieving those goals and assess the progress at the conclusion of our time together. Using the six levels described below you can see that we moved from Level 0 (scope, in my example) to Level 1 (reaction to the coaching process) to Level 2 (learning that occurred) to level 3 (applying the knowledge to the leader’s ministry).
There is a process to measure the ROI on training and coaching. Most of the coaching and training done in organizations settle for Level 1 or Level 2 evaluation – a few take it to Level 3. Here are the six levels:
- Level 0: Inputs
- Level 1: Reaction
- Level 2: Learning
- Level 3: Application
- Level 4: Impact
- Level 5: Return on Investment (ROI)
Review the descriptions above and consider a coaching or training process you are leading. Let’s say it is a leader development process that involves quarterly workshops with coaching in-between. Whatever it is that you are currently working on (developing small group leaders), or anticipate in the near future – what level of measurement are you incorporating in your process.
I’ve discovered that leaders are eager to know the ROI on some of the training and coaching that they are engaged. When they realize that it is possible to calculate and monetize the impact of their investment, it transforms the significance of the training/coaching because they are clear “why” they are making the investment.
Places where ROI is helpful:
- Organization-wide leader development training
- Coaching pastors, church planters, regional network leaders and movement leaders
- Coach training for church planting, parent church coaches or disciple-making movements
A helpful book on ROI, entitled “Show Me the Money” provides a more complete explanation. If you have questions, please e-mail InFocus for more information.
A life-giving gift you can give those you coach is what I like to call “pruning”. I have found that the four categories below serve as a helpful guide to follow using Covey’s, “First Things First” matrix. Take a moment right now to review how you are using your time this week.
- Pull-out your calendar.
- Prioritize your scheduled activities in one of four categories:
- Quadrant I – Important & Urgent.
- Quadrant II – Important & Not Urgent.
- Quadrant III – Not Important & Urgent.
- Quadrant IV – Not Important & Not Urgent.
- How can you spend more of your time in Quadrant II in 2017?
Coveys’ point is that most of us spend too much time in Quadrants III & IV; to the neglect of Quadrant II. Imagine how this exercise might benefit the people you coach. Fast forward to December, if a leader doubled her or his time in Important & Not Urgent activities, what impact would it have on their:
- Personal development
- Leader Development
To kick-off the New Year, I propose a guiding question for you and those you coach to further the work of catalyzing disciplemaking movements:
What is your most fruitful activity this year to catalyze disciplemaking movements in your community?
Reflect on that for a moment. What is your strategic focus for 2017? …for those you coach?
I look forward to reading your response below.