Everyone's A Coach

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By Barney Kinard
Rev. Barney Kinard, aka the Kidhelper, is a 50-year veteran children’s evangelist with Creative Children’s Ministries. Barney has successfully leveraged his vast experience to become an active author, a short-term foreign missionary and the Head Coach with Kidology.

Life Coaching is a growing trend in our culture. Harvard Business Review reports that coaching is a $1 billion a year industry, but what is a personal coach, professional coach, or life coach? 

Jennifer Corbin, President of Coach U states, “Technically, anyone can hang up a shingle, as coaching is not regulated. Many people ‘coaching’ have no idea what coaching is as they haven’t been trained or haven’t been coached by a professionally trained and credentialed coach. There are ‘schools’ that will offer a credential after three hours of training and people read a book or watch a TV program and decide ‘I’m a coach!’” 

The International Coach Federation (ICF), the leading global coaching organization and professional association for coaches, defines coaching as, “Partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.” 

Understand Semantics

1.    Coaching is more than Discipling.                                                      

Usually we use the term “disciple” to mean helping a new convert take some introductory steps towards becoming a follower of Jesus. Surely, coaching involves spiritual content, but is more about your professional life and career.

2.    Coaching is more than Networking and Resourcing.                      

This is making one’s professional connections (people, places, sources) available to another of a similar profession. Coaching is more about helping the client find their own resources and connections for what they want to accomplish.

3.    Coaching is more than Counseling.                      

A counselor tends to assist or guide clients in resolving personal, relational, social or psychological problems. Coaching, on the other hand, is more focused on what currently exists and how to move forward to take another step up!

4.    Coaching is more than Consulting.                                                      

This usually involves an experienced (veteran) authority who provides expert professional advice/solutions to identified problems. We view these as experts in their field.

5.    Coaching is more than Teaching and Mentoring.                              

This involves the dispensing of information or instruction from introduction to mastery. It involves developing competent skills with a designed course.

What is the Difference between Mentoring and Coaching?

Difference #1

Mentoring is relationship oriented. It seeks to provide a safe environment where the mentoree shares whatever issues affect his/her professional and personal success.

Coaching is task oriented. The focus is on concrete issues, such as managing more effectively, speaking more articulately, and learning how to think strategically. This requires a content expert (coach) who is capable of teaching the coachee how to develop these skills. 

Difference #2:

Mentoring is always long term. Mentoring, to be successful, requires time in which both partners can learn about one another and build a climate of trust that creates an environment in which the mentoree can feel secure in sharing the real issues that impact his/her success. Successful mentoring relationships last nine months to a year.

Coaching is short term. A coach can successfully be involved with a coachee for a short period of time, maybe even just a few sessions. The coaching lasts for as long as is needed, depending on the purpose of the coaching relationship.

Difference #3:

Mentoring is development driven. Its purpose is to develop the individual not only for the current job, but also for the future. This distinction differentiates the role of the immediate manager and that of the mentor.

Coaching is performance driven. The purpose of coaching is to improve the individual's performance on the job. This involves either enhancing current skills or acquiring new skills. Once the coachee successfully acquires the skills, the coach is no longer needed.

Difference #4:

Mentoring requires a design phase in order to determine the strategic purpose for mentoring, the focus areas of the relationship, the specific mentoring models, and the specific components that will guide the relationship, especially the matching process.

Coaching does not require design. Coaching can be conducted almost immediately on any given topic. The coach focuses more on the goals of the coachee creating an accountability partnership to pursue the next steps for fulfillment. 

Myths about Kidmin Coaching

Coaching is only for entry-level leaders.                                  

Not really! Anyone can be coached, youth through adults of all ages—beginners and experienced, male or female. In children’s ministry we have volunteers, part-time paid, full-time trained or veteran tenured leaders. Trained coaches use their skills with all these kinds of leaders.

Coaching is having a friend to bounce ideas off of.                    

There is a friendship factor that develops over time, but a skilled coach will defer to helping the client answer his own questions. This leads to resolution coming from the client and not the coach. Coaches are most helpful to clarify issues and push the client to move forward using their strengths and skills to develop their own ideas. 

Coaching involves telling the client what to do.                         

This is more about consulting and advising than coaching. Coaching focuses more on asking powerful questions to explore what the client is motivated to accomplish. Going deeper with learning provokes an agenda for growth and change. Finding the client’s next step is a better way to understand the process. 

Coaching is done in a group setting or in a group forum.                                                     

It can be done in a group, when the coach is quite skilled, but most coaching is personal—one-on-one! The coaching relationship is confidential, but can be done in person, on the phone or on Skype. The clear advantage to one-on-one coaching is that the process is customized to the individual every time.

Coaching is the same for everyone.                                          

Not really, everyone is different and the issues are different. There are some common themes and insights, but they’re worked through differently in each person and their individual setting of ministry. What works for one may not work the same way for another children’s leader.

Coaching involves the active and collaborative participation of both the coach and the client. It is a powerful relationship for someone making changes in their life.

Community, LeadershipRyan Frank