As we have discussed this week the role of small group coach is extremely important, yet very challenging. So our job as Pastors or Directors is to do all we can to help them be successful. I want to pass along 5 tips for helping coaches be more effective.
1. Give them encouragement. My guess is most of us are already doing this. Meet with your coaches’ one on one, meet with them in groups (huddles), and communicate with them regularly. Catch them doing things right and praise them for it. The way we lead and encourage our coaches should model exactly what we want them to do with our small group leaders.
2. Give them systems. Sometimes we recruit a coach into a position, give them a brief explanation of the role but then expect them to “figure out” the rest. When we fail to provide our coaches with systems they end up doing “whatever seems right in their own eyes” and fall short of our expectations. Our small group coach training at Seacoast offers systems for how to lead a huddle, how to conduct a one on one and how to visit a group. We provide specific systems that have been proven to work again and again.
3. Give them training. Initial training is good, but ongoing training is great. Huddle with your coaches frequently and facilitate discussion around the skills or the spirit of leadership. Give them the opportunity to learn from each other by allowing them to share the challenges and successes they are experiencing as a coach.
4. Give them empowerment. I have seen well meaning pastors step in and provide leadership for a small group leader. When we do this it undermines the coaches relationship with that leader. When a leader comes to you for help refer them to their coach. This is a great opportunity to pass along some of your credibility to the coach of that leader.
5. Give them tools. I think this is a missing element in small group coaching today. This is why I was excited when Doug Franklin at Leadertreks asked me to partner with them to provide a practical tool for Small Group Coaches. This past week we released Growing Small Group Leaders, a one year program for Coaches. This resource provides an assessment for coaches to discover their Coaching Style, personal evaluation guides and growth guides for coaches and instructions on how to fulfill the key roles of a coach. It also includes a one year planning calendar, worksheets for one on ones and six coaches huddles the coach can use with his or her small group leaders. In addition this manual comes with a CD so you can make reproducible copies of all the materials in the manual. So this is a tool you can share with your coaches and use it again and again.
What are other things you do to help your small group coaches be successful?