3 STRATEGIES TO GROW YOUR COACHING MUSCLE

3 STRATEGIES TO GROW YOUR COACHING MUSCLE

Do you remember your first shot?  You were reassured; “it will only sting a little bit”.  Feedback is sometimes like that.

Here are three strategies to develop your coaching muscle:

STRATEGY #1: Work with a coach mentor

STRATEGY #2: Ask For & Receive Feedback

STRATEGY #3: Learn with and from other coaches

I’ve discovered that the feedback I receive is mostly appreciated – usually helpful.

I remember the feedback on my coaching through a formal, written assessment – from two experienced assessors. The introduction to the report was brutal. So harsh, that I put the report down. Weeks later when I picked-up the document again; I found their recommendations extremely helpful. However, I had some questions.

During my internal struggle to gain perspective, I missed the window of opportunity for inquiry to engage the assessors. Lesson learned!  If you are going to ask for feedback, be open to criticism.

Be prepared to accept what is genuinely helpful and reject feedback that does not accurately represent your experience and reality. Incidentally, this is a skill called “Self-Assessing” that is measured in the Online 360-degree Coach Assessment that I mention below.

There exists countless ways to receive feedback on your coaching. You can receive informal or formal feedback. In person, real-time or written. I have used and found each mode helpful.

I tend to lean on two types of feedback:

  • Real-time observation:  

Small group, triads and 1-1 coaching sessions provide an opportunity for real-time feedback. The “fish-bowl” of group coaching gives participants opportunities to practice their coaching with timely feedback from individual of the group as well as a competent assessor. In addition, when asked in a 1-1 coaching session, feedback can requested to give you a sense of how you are helping the other person through listening and asking questions (for instance).

  • Qualitative Assessment:

Using a 90-degree, 180 or Online 360-degree Coach Assessment; coaches solicit feedback from people they have coached. Multiple people are asked to assess the leader using the Online Coach Assessment 360-degree how she/he demonstrated the essential skills of coaching. The result is a clarifying experience.

The combination of soft + hard data; group + individual; real-time + deferred; makes for a robust experience to develop your coaching excellence.

InFocus is excited to give you an opportunity to sharpen your coaching effectiveness. The launch of the first Developing Coaching Excellence Collective is September 2018. This is uniquely designed to assist leaders who coach disciplemakers and church planter/multiplication leaders.

Since certification is a priority for some, the 10 hours of the Developing Coaching Excellence Collective are applicable to the International Coach FederationCoach Mentor Requirement for the:

  • Associate Certified Coach – ACC
  • Professional Certified Coach – PCC
  • Master Certified Coach – MCC.

If this is a need you have and would like more information, please contact me direct – click InFocus.

Here are a couple of related resources:

MANAGING POOR PERFORMANCE STORYBOARD

MANAGING POOR PERFORMANCE: COACHING GUIDE WITH STORYBOARD

POOR PERFORMANCE HANDLING STYLE MINI-PROFILE

MANAGEMENT EFFECTIVENESS PROFILE – SELF

MANAGEMENT EFFECTIVENESS PROFILE – 180

MANAGEMENT EFFECTIVENESS PROFILE – 360

3 STRATEGIES TO GROW YOUR COACHING MUSCLE

3 STRATEGIES TO GROW YOUR COACHING MUSCLE

I’m sure you see the similarities and are wondering if that photo above is “Gary”; honestly, it is NOT me!.

Here are three strategies to develop your coaching muscle.

 

STRATEGY #1: Work with a coach mentor

STRATEGY #2: Receive feedback

STRATEGY #3: Learn with and from other coaches

 

Let me unpack the “Why?” before the “How?”

Why is it important to sharpen my coaching skills?  I am assuming if you are reading this blog that coaching is a muscle you exercise on a regular basis to develop people. Here are three contexts that ministry leaders flex their coaching muscle:

  • Local Church: Pastors and church planters developing leaders in a local church
  • Network: Leaders mobilizing disciplemakers & church planters within a neighborhood, city, state, region or nation
  • International: Leaders who catalyze multiplication movements across borders

If you coach in one or more of the three categories above, then you make coaching a priority in your schedule; and developing your coaching skills is a necessity!

You understand, to extend your reach that you must empower and coach. This is why coaching is an essential muscle that needs to be exercised. It is not a management tool. Coaching is an empowerment tool!

How can I sharpen my coaching skills?  One of the most fruitful experiences of my development as a coach was was to work with a mentor coach. In fact, this last year I worked with two different mentor coaches, one female (Kim) the other male (Sam). “How was this helpful?” you ask.

  • Reason #1: Fresh insights
  • Reason #2: New perspectives

These caused me to rethink my process. Plain and simple.

If you want to develop your coaching muscle – first, find a mentor coach. Someone who is a step ahead. Or has a different approach. Or new perspective. Find someone that can challenge you in areas that will help you empower disciple-makers and leaders from the grass-roots to the leader of a multiplication movement.

InFocus is excited to give you an opportunity to sharpen your coaching effectiveness. The launch of the first Developing Coaching Excellence Collective is September 2018. This is uniquely designed to support the development of leaders who coach disciple-makers, pastors, church planters and multiplication leaders.

Let me introduce my co-facilitator, Mukesh Azad.  I met Mukesh in 2016 while conducting a coach training workshop alongside a Disciple Making Movement training track.  One evening over dinner we discussed his vision to establish training centers to send out entrepreneurs to start businesses to fuel disciple-making and church planting movement; in some of the most difficult regions of the world.  As he scribbled his vision on a paper napkin I sensed the Lord had us meet for a particular purpose.  I am partnering with Mukesh to fuel this shared-vision in India and provide mentor coaching to leaders in the US.  Read more about Mukesh – click here, then go to the bottom.

Since certification is a priority for some, the 10 hours of the Developing Coaching Excellence Collective are applicable to the International Coach FederationCoach Mentor Requirement for the: 

  • Associate Certified Coach – ACC
  • Professional Certified Coach – PCC
  • Master Certified Coach – MCC.

If this is a need you have and would like more information, please contact me direct – click InFocus.

Here are a couple of related resources

LEARNING STYLES: SKILL BUILDER BOOKLET

LEARNING STYLES STORYBOARD

Remove Distractions for Focused Coaching

Remove Distractions for Focused Coaching

Chances are, if you are reading this blog – you have been coaching leaders for a while. You probably have a designated space for coaching appointments either in your office, or a quiet place in your home or your favorite “third” space e.g. Starbucks. You might be a pastor, church planter or denominational leader. Where-ever you meet with people or conference by phone; eliminating distractions is paramount.

Here are some common distractions that people endure during a typical workday:

  • e-mail
  • phone calls
  • people interruptions
  • multi-tasking (self-inflicted)
  • mind-wandering

The list goes on and on, but the environments in which we coach either enrich or detract from our ability to focus. Reality is, distractions are costly: Length of Distraction + 23 minutes & 15 seconds = True Length of Distraction. All well and good. But what can you and I do to combat & win the battle over distractions:

1. Create an uncluttered, “conversational” environment.

2. Shut-down devises – not in use.

3. Communicate to pertinent people (administrative assistant/family members/colleagues) your coaching hours.

4. Stop multitasking – you are not as productive as you think!  See How Distractions At Work Take Up More Time Than You Think.

5. Be present: there are many ways to do this. One way I’ve found helpful is a standing desk with a wooden, adjustable stool – see image above. Standing gives me the flexibility to walk around or shift my weight. A wooden stool is not built for comfort and forces me to stay alert! And is good for my back.

These are just a couple of tips to stay engaged during a coaching conversation. What suggestions do you have? Please share your wisdom below – I would love to hear your thoughts.

InFocus is launching it’s first Developing Coaching Excellence Collective to give you an opportunity to sharpen your coaching skills. This is uniquely designed to assist leaders who coach disciplemakers and church planter/multiplication leaders. In addition, since certification is a priority for some, the 10 hours are applicable to the International Coach Federation credentials including the

  • Associate Certified Coach (ACC),
  • Professional Certified Coach (PCC)
  • Master Certified Coach (MCC).

If this is a need you have and would like more information, please click here.

What is one action you will take today to minimize distractions to focus?

Here are a couple of related resources to develop your coaching excellence!

Coaching Skill Builder

Coaching Effectiveness Profile

Check-out the Church Planting Collective

Check-out the Church Planting Collective

Missiologist, Ed Stetzer concludes:

“Church planters who meet with a mentor or coach plant larger and more effective churches than those who do not.” 

Think back for a moment. When you have succeeded, fulfilled the mission or “hit the ball out of the park”; what was required?

  • Hard work – for sure!
  • Discipline – yes!
  • Modeling – always!
  • Expert advice – you bet!
  • Relational support – absolutely!

When I was in high school, all of those played a role in developing my soccer game. I trained hard, both on my own and with the teams that I played. I watched what I ate and made sure I had enough sleep. I mimicked moves of the players I admired. I listened intently to experienced pros. And I had people that I looked to for relational support. It paid off in high school and eventually led to a college scholarship at a nationally ranked, Division I school – San Diego State University.

These same qualities: hard work, discipline, modeling, advice and support are necessary for church planters.

The Church Planting Collective provides an environment where these qualities are nurtured.

Who do you know that would benefit from, and contribute to a Church Planting Collective ?

Here is the Fall schedule for the group sessions*:

  • Session #1: September 10, 2018
  • Session #2: October 8, 2018
  • Session #3: November 5, 2018
  • Session #4: December 3, 2018

*All times are: Mondays @ 3:30pm PST (4:30pm MST/5:30pm CST/6:30pm EST)

Attend a free webinar to hear an overview of the Church Planting Collective. Please indicate your availability by clicking here so that we can schedule the best time to meet as a group. Look forward to connecting with you!

Here are some related resources below:

PARENT CHURCH PLANTING STORYBOARD

PARENT CHURCH PLANTING COACHING GUIDE

Great Coaches Make the Right Decisions at the Right Time

Great Coaches Make the Right Decisions at the Right Time

What lesson can we learn from the best coaches in the world?

What do world-class; truly world-class coaches do that set them apart?

Let’s take a look at the world of professional sports and assess what coaches at the highest level do that translates into the ministry world. For instance, take one of the most successful football coaches in European club football – Zinedane Zedane. Not only was he one of football’s greatest players of his generation; but now is approaching his team’s third European Championship in a row. A feat that has only been achieved by Bayern Munich from 1974-1976.

For our purposes, what can we extract from what Zedane does and apply that to how we approach disciplemaking and leader development?

First, Zedane understands the game.

Second, he knows his players.

Third, Zedane makes the right decisions at the right time.

I realize that I am making a leap to suggest that coaching in the sport’s context can have some relevance for coaching in a ministry context; but these are worth consideration.

Let’s take that third one today – Zedane makes the right decisions at the right time.

His knowledge of the game and innate understanding of his players feeds his masterful ability to make decisions that will advance his team odds of winning. Through a couple of key substitutions in the first leg of the semi-final against Bayern Munich, early in the game, the flow of the game changed. They were able to shore up their defense, build up play from the back, advance through the midfield and eventually score. This was not an accident, this was the result of a tactical change made by their coach, Zinedane Zedane.

This Saturday, May 26 we will see how Zedane matches up against his Liverpool counterpart, Jurgen Klopp (see COACHABILITY TRAIT #3 – SMART blog entry). Two extremely knowledgeable football minds with different approaches to the game. Zenedane makes tactical decisions during the flow of the game and Klopp is capable of making adjustments but is unable to alter his approach – all out attacking football. Mind you, this will be a clash of two similar but very distinct styles of play. Should be an exciting match.

What can we learn from Zedane as it relates to coaching in a ministry context? When coaching disciplemakers and leaders, it is imperative that we know when to allow the person to figure the problem out on their own vs. “fixing” or solving the problem for them. When a coach jumps in and fixes the problem it communicates: “I am smarter” than the person they are coaching. This strokes the ego of the leader and in most cases, undermines the development of the person and ultimately, dis-empowers them. But when the coach allows the person the time to reflect, expand their awareness and arrive at their own solutions, people tend to:

  • Feel Empowered
  • Own the Issue
  • Take Action.

These are just some of the benefits of taking a coach approach with people you develop.

Here are three questions for your reflection:

  • What has happened when you allow people time to process their thinking and arrive at their own solutions?
  • What has happened when you have stepped-in to offer your solution?
  • Which approach is more empowering?

Here are three coaching resources I have found helpful to increase your effectiveness as you coach a person to enhance their problem solving abilities: 

Great Coaches Know Their Players

Great Coaches Know Their Players

What lesson can we learn from the best coaches in the world?

What do world-class; truly world-class coaches do that set them apart?

Let’s take a look at the world of professional sports and assess what coaches at the highest level do that translates into the ministyr world. For instance, take one of the most successful football coaches in European club football – Zinedane Zedane. Not only was he one of football’s greatest players of his generation; but now is approaching his team’s third European Championship in a row. A feat that has only been achieved by Bayern Munich from 1974-1976.

For our purposes, what can we extract from what Zedane does that applies to how we approach disciplemaking and leader development?

First, Zedane understands the game.

Second, he knows his players.

Third, Zedane makes the right decisions at the right time.

I realize that I am making a leap to suggest that coaching in the sport’s context can have some relevance for coaching in a ministry context; but these are worth consideration.

Let’s take that second one today – Zedane knows his players. He knows their personality, strengths and weaknesses, what motivates and demotivates, how and when to challenge. What you also sense from Zedane is, he knows how hard to challenge to get the very best from his team.

When coaching disciplemaker and leaders, it is imperative that we know the people we are empowering. What I am suggesting is that we must know what makes a disciplemaker “tick” and how to help leader’s take that difficult next step in their development. Specifically a coach must know their:

  • Personality
  • Strengths and Weaknesses
  • Motivator and De-motivators

These are just some of the complexities of the human beings that we are called to coach to make disciples and leaders.

Here are three questions for your reflection:

  1. What are the personality traits of the people you coach (for disciplemaking & leader development)?
  2. How do you challenge different people, differently?
  3. How do you motivate different people, differently?

Here are two coaching resources I have found helpful to help coach introverts and extroverts:

Coaching Introverts

Coaching Extroverts