Coaching is an essential element to groom potential leaders. Even if potential leaders do new projects and actively pursue professional growth, they still need a little bit of coaching every month from their direct supervisor. What is coaching? According to Clinton and Stanley, “The Coach’s central thrust is to provide motivation and impart skills and application to meet a task or challenge.”[ref]Paul Stanley and J. Robert Clinton, Connecting: The Mentoring Relationships You Need to Succeed in Life (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 1992), 73.[/ref] Let’s look at how to do that.
Photo Credit: Robert Sullivan
THIRTY MINUTES A MONTH
You can train your potential leaders with just thirty minutes of coaching per month. Thirty minutes might sound like a lot, but if the typical nonprofit leader or pastor works fifty hours a week and provides thirty minutes of coaching a month to a potential leader, that is only one quarter of one percent (.0025%) of the leader’s time every month. Any leader can carve out one-quarter of one percent of her time every month to coach a potential leader.
FOUR BASIC COACHING STRATEGIES
When conducting coaching sessions with potential leaders four basic elements should be present.
1. Be a Good Listener
Leaders must be good listeners. They must listen to what potential leaders are going through and, if necessary, ask questions of the potential leaders. How have things been going? Do you feel you have succeeded? What are you struggling with?
2. Provide Resources and Ideas
Leaders must provide resources and ideas to potential leaders. If potential leaders are struggling in an area and appear to be stuck, leaders should step in to provide resources or ideas that will help potential leaders solve the problem.
3. Give Encouragement
Leaders must offer encouragement to potential leaders. People experimenting and trying new things will have limited success. Therefore, offer encouragement to potential leaders because they must know that their leaders still believe in them.
4. Restate the Vision
Leaders must restate the vision for the organization or program that potential leaders are working in. Potential leaders can become consumed with the details and forget about the larger picture. Every coaching meeting should end with the leader restating the vision of the nonprofit organization or church. This reminds potential leaders that what they are working towards is bigger and more important than themselves.
Any leader who carves out thirty minutes a month for leadership coaching and who follows the four basic coaching strategies can have confidence that leadership development will occur.