Tips on Effective Long Distance Coaching

Guest Post by Brent Wong 

This post will help you to coach multiple ministries over a long distance. It is good for any leader to understand how her/his team is doing.

PRINCIPLES OF COACHING

  • Relationships and trust are at the foundation of coaching.  Spend a lot of time developing this! Most Asians have never experienced belief and a blessing from their leadership.  If you see something in them, communicate it to them!
  • We help them to think through their jobs and support them.  Do they know where they are heading? Do they know how to get there?  Do they have the resources they need? We want to equip and empower them, rather than control them.
  • Support them holistically.  If they can’t pay their bills or their marriage is falling apart – then they may be ministering at only a fraction of their potential.
  • Have a system for filing and retrieving information.  Take notes in OneNote or in a doc for each leader you coach.  Review those notes before a conversation, determine focus or main topics, determine assignments, consider resources, and identify prayer requests.
  • Confirm with them that you will be coaching them, and set up regular times to talk. The more experienced they are, the less you will need to talk with them. The frequency of your coaching is in direct correlation to their experience and need.
  • Most people thrive and experience peace if you give them good structure, resources, and guidance.  Be directive in setting a vision and practical tips on what to teach and what to do.  Ex: what to focus on, developing their spp, etc.

SOME POSSIBLE TOPICS TO TALK WITH ABOUT

Ask a good question, and you will get a profound answer.  Ask a bad question . . .

These are some questions that you can use to help your student leaders think through their life and ministry.  We can’t help our people, if we don’t know what is going on in their lives. 

OPEN ENDED QUESTIONS

  • What is your biggest challenge right now?
  • What do you need most right now?
  • How would you rate your ministry enjoyment level from zero to 10?
  • Is there anything that is keeping you from running at peak efficiency? 

PERSONAL LIFE

  • What do they do for fun?  Do they have fun?
  • How much sleep do they get?
  • What character issues are being brought to the surface because of their work or situation?
  • Take note of: performance, perfection, failure, driveness, or avoidance.
  • How would they rate their physical tank?  Have them rate it 0-10 (ex: tired? Sleep? Working out?)

TIME

  • Schedule – How do they and their team spend their time?  Do they feel good about it?
  • Boundaries in schedule.  Do they feel they are always on?  Can they say “no” healthfully?
  • Is their pace sustainable?
  • If they are overwhelmed, explore why they feel they need to work that hard.

RELATIONSHIPS, CONNECTION, CONFLICT

  • How are the relationships on their team?  Is there a personality or performance problem?
  • Are there any undercurrents or unresolved conflicts?
  • Have they established “norms” in how their team operates? Are there regular venues for people to share, talk, evaluate, or confront?
  • How would they rate their relational tank?  Have them rate it 0-10 (friendships, church, etc)

PERFORMANCE, EFFECTIVENESS, STEWARDSHIP

  • Is this person happy and do they feel fulfilled?
  • Are there any resources or training that could help this person?
  • What are the top 3 measurable goals this quarter and year?  Pick 3 because we all need crystal focus
  • How do men and women relate on the team?
  • Do they feel stuck in any area? 

SPIRITUALLY

  • How would they rate their spiritual tank?  Have them rate it 0-10
  • What things could they implement to improve their spiritual lives?
  • Do they need a spiritual retreat?
  • Does the team take ½ days with the Lord?

BrentWong2Brent Wong has has been on staff with Epic, and married to Leila for the past 21 years.  He has two boys named Jaron (13) and Micah (12). He graduated from Cal Poly SLO, and did his MDiv at Dallas and Talbot Seminary (Pastoral Track).   He is currently serving as a Missional Team Leader in Southern California.  Random fact: His Great Grandfather was a pastor to Chinese immigrants in Oregon over a 100 years ago.  Adjectives describing him: Church Partnerships, Consultant, Evangelist, Pastoral Care.  You can follow Brent on Facebook and Twitter

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