(This is part 2 of a two-part series on coaching strategies. Read part 1 here.)
Another acronym I like to use for coaching is GROW. I learned this strategy years ago from coaching guru, John Whitmore. GROW is a template—a coaching guide—that can be used to tackle any coaching issue. It suggests the four phases involved when coaching someone:
Will do something
Put it on repeat.
Keep saying those words: Goal, Reality, Options, Will. Think of the template like a funnel that pushes others toward the target or the resolution of an issue. For example, say a person you’re coaching needs to discuss how to recruit more children’s workers for the Sunday school program. You could ask, “What is your Goal?” The answer may be simple, such as, “My goal is to recruit six more Sunday school workers.” That’s all well and good. Now we have something to strive for. But the actual resolution is easier said than done.
Once the goal is defined, the next step is to assess the Reality of the situation. This is the “diagnose before you prescribe” phase. You should be asking questions like, “How have I recruited Sunday school workers in the past? What worked? What didn’t work? Is the pastor helpful?” Questions like these force you to put the reality of the situation into context.
Understanding the context, you’re set to move on to considering Options. “What options do you have?” (Note you’re asking for more than one.) Keep probing for more and more options; you may add a few yourself. You could help the person discover a dozen options. This is good. Hope is on the way.
Finally, how do you close the deal? Ask, “Considering these options, which will you implement? What Will you do?” The one you’re coaching will eventually agree to certain action steps. You may need to challenge the person to do more—or maybe less. You’re the coach.
How coaching happens:
Remember this axiom: Coaching doesn’t happen until an action plan exists. And remember this axiom: The one being coached does the work! Your job then is to help hold the person accountable. You may say, “May I call you next Wednesday to see if you’ve met with the pastor yet?” Or, “Will you send me a copy of the letter you will be sending by next Tuesday?” Notice how specifically and time-bound you’re holding the person accountable. By the way, accountability is the reason you’ll want to take notes to record agreements and action plans. Generally you won’t need to be hard on the person. Agreeing to an action plan and holding them accountable will produce enormous results.
You’ll have more to learn as you aim to increase your coaching proficiency, but these coaching basics will get you on your way. Go for it, and trust the Holy Spirit to use you as you “spur one another on.”
***Coaches: what strategies work for you?
Church Planter: have you had a good or bad coaching experience? What made it so?
I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.***