Jeff Cockerham is a smart guy. Not just because he invited me to train coaches in his church, but because of the way that he enlisted church members for that training. In my work with Pinnacle Leadership Associates, I train clergy and laity to use coaching principles in their congregations with the Disciple Development Coaching© process. We recently began providing a congregational model for this training and Jeff invited me to lead it at Central Baptist Church, Fountain City (Knoxville), Tennessee, in August.
I was impressed by the approach that Jeff took in assembling the group for training. He sought out people in the congregation who were already invested in empowering their brothers and sisters in Christ. These were leaders in various areas of church life who are already calling out the best in others. In reality, they were already coaching other church members.
So, if they were already doing this, why did they need training?
First, DDC provided them with the encouragement to continue what they were already doing. Ken Blanchard and others talk about finding people doing something right and encouraging them to do more of it. Just being recognized is a motivator and assures continuation of an important ministry.
Second, DDC training gave them a vocabulary to use in their coaching. The training helps a coach, even one who is doing coaching on an informal basis, to understand the meaning of terms like “accountability” and “design” in the coaching process and apply that understanding.
Third, DDC training helped them to develop and improve their skills in coaching. They can now be more intentional as they build rapport with, encourage, and walk alongside the persons they are coaching. They are more aware of what they bring to the process.
When Mark Tidsworth invited me to become part of Pinnacle Leadership Associates as a coach, my first response was, “I am not a coach.” Mark explained to me, “You have really been coaching people for years, even though you have not been trained as a coach.”
Seek out those who are already doing coaching and find ways to encourage them.