3 Key Ingredients of a Coaching Conversation

Allowing our graduates to walk out their freedom in Christ while at Teen Challenge is necessary to prepare them to live successful Christian lives after TC. When a student first enters the program we tell them what to do because they are a new babe in Christ. As they become spiritually mature, we give them more responsibility to make decisions with the help of the Holy Spirit. This is key to helping our graduates transition back to society as productive citizens and where coaching is especially helpful in the discipleship process.

Being led by the Holy Spirit to ask the right questions at the right time of the right person

Two people having a conversation

Two people having a conversation

will help them develop the critical thinking skills necessary to adjust to life after TC. This will require several coaching conversations. A coaching conversation has three key ingredients which will move the person forward:

  1. Explores – connect with the students where they are at. Talk about the things they want to talk about. This is the student’s time to explore what’s inside of them and to have a simple conversation that will help them dream about the possibilities for their future.
  2. Excites – Get excited about  the things they are excited about. Excitement or joy is contagious and fires up the brain to create. If you are excited about their future, they are excited too and they will believe it’s possible to create. A joyful heart is good medicine.
  3. Exhorts – Be an Encourager – a Barnabas. Along the way, the student will meet upon obstacles which may prevent them from becoming who God created them to be. Your role is to encourage them to live from a stance of victory and not defeat. Encourage them to turn the trials into opportunities.

I have found that the best coaching conversations are in the moment – as you go about daily life on campus. You can draw out so much more when you are in a relaxed environment. Listen and watch for the moment to coach and ask these powerful questions:

What is here that you want to explore?
How does this fit with your plans and values?
What are you willing to do to accomplish this?
What support will you need along the way?
What is your desired outcome?

Article Submitted by: Andree Aiken, ELP Leader/Coach, TC Southeast

 

Enrich Culture – Developing People

In Teen Challenge we would say that we are “student-focused” – and we should be. However, sometimes a leader can be so student-focused that they look past the staff they are leading and, along with them, place most of their emphasis on the students. While a key leader may retain some aspects of student ministry, their primary ministry is to the people on the team they lead. And when a leader is growing and developing the people they lead, they can be sure the students will be growing and developing as well. So last month we looked at how a leader enriches culture through the practical skill of hiring the right people, this month we’ll look at the practical skill of developing people. Ken Blanchard, in his book “The Servant Leader”, says that a “key element of being a servant leader is to consider people’s development as an equal end goal as their performance.” Blanchard offers up a simple model for developing people with what he calls “Situational Leadership” and illustrates how Jesus was a Situational Leader. This model recognizes SLII-Color-Model-Exp_inprthat people are always on a development continuum based on 2 things: commitment and competence. When you started with Teen Challenge your commitment was high as you answered God’s call, but your competence was low because you’re new on the job, you have a lot to learn. Blanchard calls this an “enthusiastic beginner”. As you begin to learn your new role and experience challenges moving up the learning curve – maybe a student you’ve been counseling leaves the program – you may become a “disillusioned learner” as your commitment wavers. You may ask, am I really cut out for this? But as you continue to grow in competence, you reaffirm your commitment and become a “capable but cautious performer”, ultimately becoming a “self-reliant achiever”. (In our context, let’s acknowledge we’re still God-reliant achievers…) The leader’s role with Situational Leadership is to first “diagnose” which development level applies to the person. Secondly they demonstrate “flexibility” in adjusting their leadership style to that development level. For an enthusiastic beginner, it’s ok to be “directive” in your leadership – the person is new, they need to know what to do and how to do it. For a disillusioned learner the leader shifts to a “coaching” style – asking great questions while still providing direction to get the staff member over this hump. As the staff becomes a capable but cautious performer they need a “supportive” leadership style – they can do the job, they just need to be affirmed. Finally, the leader can “delegate” to the self-reliant achiever – empowering them and releasing them to flourish in their role. After diagnosis and flexibility in leadership style, the third skill of a situational leader is “partnering for performance” – working with the staff member to identify goals and a plan for on-going development. As a leader, when you create a culture that intentionally develops people and learn the skills to do this well, you’ll retain great people, your team will flourish, and students will be well served. And, if you are a staff member, guess what? These same situational leadership principles apply as you disciple students – think about how they go through these development levels in the program and how you adjust your approach accordingly… This month, read one of the Gospels with these principles of development in mind, how was Jesus a situational leader?

Article Contributed by: Karissa Corpeny, Director of Corporate Training

References:

The Servant Leader” – Blanchard & Hodges

Leading at a Higher Level” – Blanchard

Enrich Culture – Getting the Right People on the Bus

Author Jim Collins says that people who aren’t a good fit for an organization’s values figures-368751_1280and culture get “ejected like a virus”. In creating a healthy organization, one of the roles of a leader is to set the culture of a team or organization, and then do the hard work of identifying and hiring people who are a right fit for the culture. Collins goes on to say, “first, get the right people on the bus, and then get them in the right seats.” Getting the right people on the bus means bringing people onto the team who embrace and embody the organization’s purpose, history, DNA, values, etc. The gifts and skills they bring and the role they can fill is secondary. It doesn’t mean that people who aren’t a right fit are bad people, or that they aren’t called and passionate to serve God, it just means that they’re called somewhere else. When a leader makes a rushed hiring decision because they need to “plug a hole”, it does a disservice not only to the team but to the person who should be serving and flourishing elsewhere. A person who is on the wrong bus ends up disillusioned and the team ends up frustrated. The leader has to spend more time in the long run fixing the mistakes of a poor hiring decision while doing the work of re-hiring.

The book, The Leadership Pipeline offers the following insight: “Managers quickly learn how to hire people with the talent and experience to do a given job properly; they find it more difficult to hire people who ‘fit’ a company’s work values and practices.” Good hiring decisions simply take time and effort. Have more than one conversation with the person, describe (candidly…) what it would be like to serve with the organization and with their potential team, does that sound like a bus they’d like to be on for a long journey? Get to know the interviewee’s passion, gifting, vision, and the values they are already living out. Does this align with the organization? Use any relevant assessments or hiring tools and be sure to call the references, what is their appraisal of this person’s fit? Again in The Leadership Pipeline, the authors make the case that good hiring practices are a skillset that every leader should value and make time for: “The most difficult change for first-time managers to make involves values. Specifically, they need to learn to value managerial work rather than just tolerate it. They must believe that making time for others, planning, coaching, and the like [hiring…] are necessary tasks and are their responsibility. More than that, they must view this other-directed work as mission-critical…” Due diligence won’t prevent every hiring mistake, but it will prevent many of them. It will save everyone a lot of heartache and go a long way in creating a healthy team and culture. Not only that, but the right staff hired today become the “seed bed” from which tomorrow’s leaders are selected from!

In the hiring process, the leader should not only be thinking of their immediate needs, but the organization’s future. If you have a responsibility for hiring, how have you been doing in that area? What could you do better? If not, think about some of the past hiring experiences you’ve been through, what went well and what went wrong? How will you shape your philosophy in this area when given the opportunity for this leadership responsibility?

Article contribution by: Karissa Corpeny  (Director of Corporate Training, TC Southeast)

 

Insights from the Rep’s

A LEADER WORTH FOLLOWING

 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep”  John 10:11.

Some questions that humble me as a leader are; “Am I a leader worth following?” “Do I model the values of our work and home culture?” “Do I do what I ask the team to do?”  “Am I willing to give up my own interests for what’s best for everyone else?” And the question that looms largest, “Will I lay down my life for my family and friends?” For me to be a leader worth following, I will answer affirmative to these revealing questions. Mostly though, I must follow the good shepherd – Jesus.

The Good Shepherd Defends

Jesus is the ultimate leader worth following. He is not “a,” but “the” Good Shepherd. He is good because He is God, and He grows good leaders. The good shepherd Jesus defends the sheep from aggressive enemies. Just as the shepherd David battled the lion and bear on behalf of his flock, so Jesus engages the enemy on our behalf. He sees danger coming before we do, so what may seem an unnecessary diversion may be His protection from a bad decision or bad people.

“The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty” (Proverbs 27:12).

The Good Shepherd Protects

A leader worth following protects his or her people. He lays down his life, his interests, and his ego for the greater good. The others-centered leader also invests in her team. She spends time in mentorship. Over lunch she systematically  helps the less experienced process their pressure points. The leader is vulnerable about her own issues and how she learned from others. A safe culture invites honesty, and the opportunity for professional growth.

Furthermore, what are some ways you can invest in the character of those who look to you as their leader? You have to be good in order to teach others how to be good. Your generosity enhances a culture of generosity. Your care creates a caring culture. Expose your team to books, training and conferences that challenge and grow their character and skills. Begin a weekly or monthly educational process that infuses the values of the culture throughout the enterprise. A leader worth following is out front as an example, among the team to learn, and behind in prayer.

“Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1).

Prayer: Heavenly Father grow me into a leader worth following. Lead me to lead like Jesus

Article contribution by: Deanna Trujillo (ELP Representative – Pensacola Women’s Home)

Enrich Culture – Shifting the Values

I hope you took some time last month to reflect on “how things are going in your boat”… In that article we said that after prayer, the most important thing a leader can do is build a healthy culture for the teams they lead. Leaders must delegate a lot of things, but culture is not one of them. The leader is solely responsible for how healthy a team or ministry is. As a leader, being a “culture bearer” requires a shift in values, skills and allocation of time. For instance, as a staff member I should value being an effective contributor to the team and the mission. I do my part to enrich culture by embracing and embodying the Core Values and the TC DNA. I would be honing a particular skill such as teaching, counseling or computer skills. My time would be primarily allocated to working with students or in administration, completing my assigned tasks and responsibilities. As a leader, whether I’m leading a rally team, a work crew or a center, my values and skillset have to shift, as well as how I manage my time. It’s important what we value – we spend our time doing the things we value, and skills that are used without being instructed by values, aren’t done with much passion and creativity. So if I’m directing a center, and value making individual contributions such as counseling, I will probably pursue a degree in counseling and spend a lot of time counseling students. Instead, as a team leader, there has to be a shift – rather than valuing what I can contribute individually, I now value the success and contributions of others, I value the results of the whole team, I value the work and disciplines I need to do as a manager. This managerial skillset includes things like setting the culture, selecting the right people who are a fit for the culture, designing job descriptions, empowerment and delegation, performance evaluation and development, communication, building a cohesive team, and rewards and motivation. The book “The Leadership Pipeline” talks about this shift: “First-time managers need to learn how to reallocate their time so that they not only complete their assigned work but also help others perform effectively. They cannot allocate all of their time to putting out fires, seizing opportunities, and handling tasks themselves.” Putting out fires…yikes! Sounds like Teen Challenge! One of the challenges of leadership is slowing down the high speed train that we call Teen Challenge and valuing and spending time on the right things. Effective leaders and healthy organizations value an enriched culture and take the time to cultivate it. In the next 3 articles we’ll highlight 3 very practical areas in which a leader enriches culture: bringing the right people on the team, developing people, and building a cohesive team. In the meantime, assess how you allocate your time – how does it reflect what you value?

Article written by – Karissa Corpeny – Director of Corporate Training (TC Southeast)

 

ELP Highlights

Michael ArnoldELP Michael Arnold pic
From Abingdon Va
Work at New Orleans TC
Graduated from Appalachian TC in West Virginia 2008

I was an addict for such a long time, I had totally destroyed everything. I had heard of God but never believed and sitting in a hotel room I said if you’re real and love me the way everyone says just let me die. Funny thing God answered but not the way I thought He would. Brother Jim from TC had drove an hour to visit me. I went to TC and that person died and God made something new.

The calling God has given me is the same as all. 2 Corinthians 5:18 “All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.” My dream is to be the person in someone’s life that Gods uses like Brother Jim was to me.

The Emerging Leader Program helped me by the deeper knowledge it gave, the discipline it required, skills I could apply immediately, the confidence to take on challenges and now the privilege to serve the emerging leaders in Louisiana. What a blessing!