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Friends Don’t Let Friends TRAIN Coaches

This article from late last year has been bugging me for months.  You know why?  Because he’s right.  And the reasons behind why “Leadership Training” doesn’t work extends to coaches.  Coaches have to be developed, and we can’t train them.  Training & development are NOT the same thing.  Mike Myatt lists 20 reasons why development is the better option.  You should read them.

Because of this article, we’ve made some decisions.

At CoachNet, we no longer train coaches.
   There, I said it out loud.  This has been an internal conversation at CoachNet for about a year. 

Develop

Develop coaches…don’t train them.

But that doesn’t mean we’re not going to launch new coaches, or help our existing coaches get better.  We’re just not going to train anybody.  Because it can’t be done.  At least not effectively.  Coaching is a skill set that grows under the right conditions.  Yes, there are knowledge, skills and abilities involved, but the reality is you don’t get trained to unlock those things. 

If you want to be a highly effective coach, you have to develop.   And coach development is what CoachNet is committed to.  In fact, we’re committed to YOUR coach development, and all that that means! 

You can’t learn to coach in a training.  What we have commonly called a training event might be a part of the process, but the reality is that every one of our systems is designed to develop you–your knowledge, skills and abilities.  A training event might get you started, but it takes repetitions to get there.  But like the old saying goes, “You can’t learn to swim in a classroom.”  The same goes for coaching.

And as of today, we no longer train coaches.  We’re out of the coach training business/ministry.  We are now in the coach development industry/movement.

A friend of mine is a coach in the National Football League, and he’s spent the last few seasons with a team that isn’t exactly burning up the league.  His team is talented, but young.  They haven’t won a lot of games recently (and yes, the team’s practice facility is in the same suburb as the CoachNet offices).  But my friend sees progress and growth, because the team is working hard in practice.  One of his favorite lines is “young guys have to get the reps.”  Repetition in practice makes the difference.  It’s the thing that leads to growth.  That’s development.  We want to help you practice what you learn, so it makes a difference.  Want to get started on your coach development here.

That’s really different than training.   You know, the mountaintop experience that leaves you going “MAN, that was AWESOME!”  It was so awesome in fact, that when you got home you put the binder on the shelf and never opened it again.  Well, I hate to say it, but that’s training.  We’re not doing that anymore.

Don’t get me wrong…we’re still going to have coach development events.  You’ll still have the chance to get into the room with a top quality CoachNet coach, to learn, to see a model of excellent coaching, to ask questions and to apply what you’re learning.  (You can pick a choice that fits for you here.)  BUT, if you don’t take what you learn there home, practice with it, and use it to become a better coach, we’ve failed.  Over the next few days, you’ll slowly start to see the word “training” disappear from the CoachNet site.  (It’s already gone from our home page.)

So, what are your thoughts?  How are you developing as a coach?  Please put your thoughts in the comment area.  I promise to respond to every comment.

14 Reasons Coaching is the BEST. THING. EVER.

During a recent coach training event with members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s (ELCA) coaching leadership team, the participants brainstormed 14 reasons why coaching is something that every leader should leverage for their personal and professional development. 

Brainstorm

]1 Now THAT’s a brainstorm! Complete with Lightning!

1.       Coaching is a time saver.

2.       It helps with accountability.

3.       It is effective in helping overwhelmed leaders work through their options.

4.       It is effective in helping underwhelmed leaders to see opportunities.

5.       It is post-modern.  Coaching assumes the leader has knowledge.

6.       It is a proven discipling model worldwide.

7.       It offers a good model for a church that seems to have worn out a lot of old models.

8.       Coaching provides a personal GPS.

9.       Coaching provides a connection between individuals and their church.

10.    Coaching helps people feel both successful and qualified.

11.   Coaching spurs creativity.

12.   Coaching is affirming.

13.   Coaching is an investment in a leaders success.

14.   Coaching lends itself to using technology.

This list is the product of just a few minutes work.  If you were making your own list, what reasons would you cite for why coaching is a tool that every leader needs in their toolbox?  Please add your reasons in the comment area below.

Sometimes, The Questions Will Surprise You!

I got this email this morning from a coach–Jonathan Wright of Wichita, KS (@jonathanwwright) we trained a couple summers ago.

Really, It's a coaching image!  (Mysterious ways, huh?)

]1 Really, It’s a coaching image! (Mysterious ways, huh?)

“Seriously…a few weeks ago while coaching someone I thought to ask… “What if you could have a beer with Jesus?” (There was a context for this.) I was surprised at the new line of thought that this prompted. I’ve used it twice since then with additional success. It was especially handy when they felt or it appeared they were at the end of new thought, kinda stuck in a box of reason, mixed things up a little. Thought I’d share.”

This can be really helpful observation. If you got a client who’s stuck or having a hard time coming up with new thoughts, a wacky, out-there question can be just the thing.  The goofy question disarms the client in a fun way, and new breakthroughs can happen as a result.  What’s the strangest question you’ve ever asked–as a coach?  I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Ok, now for a moment of shameless, self-promotion.  Jonathan Wright added “FYI though, it is not original with me it comes from a country song. I gotta tell you for what I do in the kingdom the coaching skills I am learning are HUGE for those I have the opportunity to influence. CoachNet is a blessing!”

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