I’ve coached people—including church planters—for pretty much forever now. When all is said and done, here’s what needs to happen in each coaching session: prepare, engage, and act. This cycle is what makes coaching effective. It’s what gets things done: preparing for the session in advance, interacting during the session, then determining next steps at the end of the session.
When planters come into the coaching session prepared with a clear idea of what they want to talk about, the conversation flows much more effectively and saves time. The coach can aid this process by preparing some questions in advance for the planter to think through, which allows them to come in better prepared for the coaching conversation. During the coaching session itself, the coach engages the planter through listening and asking more questions to help the planter think through their challenges, their options, and a coherent course of action. As the session draws to a close, the coach and planter can determine the next steps to be taken… which of course informs the preparation for the next coaching conversation.
This simple cycle of prepare, engage, and act is what makes for effective coaching, supervision, and team leadership. It’s what allows people to engage meaningfully and track on their progress in a simple way. Based on my experience using the prepare, engage, act cycle for many years now, I’ve created an online coaching log that utilizes it: MyCoachLog. Currently the site is in a rapid beta testing phase, but will soon be open to the public. If you want to get in on the beta testing, visit www.mycoachlog.com.