Creating a Culture of Coaching

April 10, 2012

At CARE for AIDS, we talk a lot about addressing the issue of HIV/AIDS in a holistic manner. That involves caring for the physical, spiritual, emotional, relational, social, and economic parts of a person. Lack of wholeness in one of those areas can affect all the others. Our clients’ lack of physical strength prevents them from working to earn money for their families. The lack of emotional support leads to feelings of hopelessness that deteriorate physical health. They are all related.

So, why don’t we invest in our leaders in the same way?

Helping someone develop professional skills and competencies is a must, but it is not enough. I recently had the privilege of working with a life coach named Greg Salciccioli. We spent the first 9 MONTHS of our one-year coaching relationship working on my life plan, which focused exclusively on areas of my life outside the workplace. This included examining my physical health habits, my relationship with Lindsay, my personal finances, and many other topics. All of those areas, if not managed well, will eventually spill over and have a negative impact on my leadership.

Having a coach has helped me in three big ways:

  1. It is structured. Some would argue that too much structure in coaching is a bad thing, but the process allowed me to focus intently on one area of my life at a time and it provided a framework of questions, assessments, and scripture to help with my growth. Those are not things that an informal accountability partner can offer.
  2. It is objective. It is easy to get defensive when someone you know is asking you hard questions, but when someone is asking you in the context of a coaching relationship, your guard is down. Then, when they give advice or counsel, it is easy to accept it knowing that they have your best interests at heart.
  3. It is accountable. Accountability is hard among our peers. We want to love and accept them without having to confront the difficult issues. Coaching allows you to write down the specific action steps you want to achieve and then the coach expects those to be completed before the next meeting. Unlike my buddies, I know my coach isn’t going to cut me any slack.

After this process, it became clear to me that our Kenyan staff could also benefit from having coaches. Kenyans are very relational, but when it comes to personal matters, they are very private. As far as I know, none of our Kenyan leaders have ever been in a relationship that was structured, objective, or accountable outside of the professional realm. So, I began working with Greg, my coach, to develop a custom system that will be launched in the next few months that will do just that. If our clients are expected to grow and develop in a holistic manner, then we need to have the same expectation of our staff. In the next couple years, I pray that all of our staff is engaged in a coaching relationship with someone who is encouraging them to be the best Christ-follower, husband, father, South Africa and leader that online casino they can possibly casino be. But not just that, I pray that they will also be trained on how to coach others inside and outside the organization. The more effective our leaders are in all areas of their lives, the more effective we will be as an organization in caring for those that are HIV-positive.

I will keep you updated as we begin to implement this new coaching program. If you wish to learn more about professional coaching or get coached yourself, please visit Greg’s website at www.coachgreg.com or buy a copy of his book The Enemies of Excellence here.

Have you ever been in a coaching relationship? How did it benefit you? If not, how do you think you could benefit from being coached?