This entry is the first in a four-part series on what it takes to build a coaching culture. Many pastors and leaders want to have coaching be part of the very fabric of how they do ministry– they want it to permeate their whole discipleship and leadership development process. Yet few manage to make that happen. Why? What’s needed?
Element #1: a committed leader
If you want a culture of relational coaching to permeate your ministry, it requires your personal involvement. That may sound obvious, but it’s amazing how often leaders believe they can help something take root in their ministry by talking about it instead of by participating in it. The senior leader needs to model personally what they want their people to be doing. In the case of coaching, that means two things: they need to be doing coaching and they need to be receiving coaching.
Is the senior leader coaching others? People watch their leaders to see what is actually important. When leaders talk about coaching but don’t do it, people invariably interpret that to mean, “Coaching is a nice idea, but not very important.” As leaders, we demonstrate what is important by how we live and how we choose to spend our time… not just what we talk about.
The other important issue is whether or not the senior leader is being coached. A leader that is truly committed to coaching is not only doing coaching, but receiving coaching. If you want your people to value and receive coaching, you need to receive it as well. There is an inherent hypocrisy in saying others need coaching but I don’t. Coaching can double or triple your effectiveness. Do you believe that? If so, why aren’t you receiving coaching?
As senior leaders, we need to live out our priorities on a personal level– by giving and receiving coaching– not just by promoting coaching as a good idea. That’s the essential first step in creating a coaching culture.