Coaching skills can be learned and put into practice. I´m finding this approach works well with this generation of digital relationships.
What would happen if …
My leadership style has been so transformed by coach training. So, I wondered what would happen if I taught basic coaching concepts to small group leaders in our church?
I launched the idea to our weary leaders and they all readily agreed to go for it. The next step was figuring out the essence of what brought transformation in my own leadership style and relationships. Here’s what I came up with:
- Authenticity – instead of “holding down the fort”, “hanging on”, or responding with “glory to God, in Him I have the victory!”, we all needed a good dose of authenticity. We had to learn how to share victories, failure and needs in a way that invited others to freely express themselves in return. It took several risky practice sessions but finally a new sense of openness and encouragement began to bloom.
- Open questions – The next skill-set we tackled was how not to turn our home groups into a Bible study, group counseling session, or even a mini-church service. One leader-trainee was moved to tears by having someone ask questions and actually listen to her responses!
- The Heart of a Coach – imitating the heart of Jesus. Together we considered how God is already moving and working in whoever we engage in conversation. By believing they are capable of hearing and obeying what God is saying to them, we empower others to trust God instead of merely following our advice.
- OREO feedback – We taught them how to self-praise, self-correct, and plan together as a team – how to affirm positive things happening in the group more than analyzing what is going wrong and trying to correct out of our weakness. This has created an excitement and initiative on the part of the leaders to keep ambience, questions, and listening skills intentional each week.
We began weekly lunch meetings because practicing these skills became more and more exciting. Learning to live in an authentic way, to listen and ask more questions and have others believe in you was so sweet. We wanted to take that experience to the small groups we all were leading.
In just a few weeks we were getting reports from our small groups: a young man we´d never met before rededicated his life to the Lord! A woman living in an abusive relationship was able to share her story and feel supported and accepted. She later broke off the relationship and is headed out to a discipleship school for 6 months!
A new person showed up and easily joined in the family ambience. Upon leaving the meeting she commented, “what´s going on here? I found myself sharing intimate details of my life story, and I had only wanted to sit back and observe!” She has become a member of the church and is leading another ministry.
Non-Christian friends are being invited into the groups and they are finding a place where they can observe Christianity in all its authenticity and they like it! Our groups doubled in the first 3 months I think because others began to see what was happening and wanted in on the “real thing!”
Get some training and put it into practice in every area of your life and watch the fruit multiply!
by Patricia Clewett, Leadership Coach & Coach. Bi-Lingual missionary to Spain, living in Barcelona for more than 20 years. Mother of 4 adult children. Married to the same man since 1978. Certified Professional Coach of cross-cultural and leadership coaching experience. Completed 3-year training including LCT 1 and MCT levels I and II. Now Completing Apprenticeship to train other coaches in the Spanish Speaking World.