Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The Value of Coaching for Churches and Not-For-Profits

When we discuss the value of coaching, we usually focus on the difference it makes in the lives of individuals, but coaching also has benefits for the churches and organizations that provide it for staff and employees.  In an article in the February 2016 edition of Coaching World, Odile Carru and Mark Weinstein discussed the growth of internal coaching in organizations and its value to employees at all levels.  Carru and Weinstein presented three of these benefits:  talent retention, leadership development, and improving soft skills

When a church or organization provides coaches for leaders, the person who is coached not only develops new skills and abilities, but they appreciate the investment being made on their behalf.  This encourages them to stay with the organization longer rather than seeking another position “where the grass is greener.” 

According to Carru and Weinstein, key areas for coaching in organizations are leadership development, onboarding (bringing new people on board or transitioning them to new responsibilities), and change management.  These are important concerns for churches and not-for-profits as well.  Staff members need to be challenged to continue growing, especially as they face new challenges and changes within and outside the organization.  Coming into a position as a new hire or transitioning to a new responsibility are times when individuals encounter not only stress but uncertainty and need all the support that they can get.

Finally, the writers point out the value of helping staff develop what we call soft skills such as team-building, self-awareness, effective communication, and decision making.  We might call this coaching for emotional intelligence.  As we understand ourselves and others, we become more effective leaders.  As we recognize where we might improve, we can use the support of a coach to help us development new people skills.

A trained coach--whether internal or external--can contribute to the overall health of an organization by working with individuals in their personal and professional development.  It is certainly worth the investment!

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