Coaching is the process of equipping people with the tools, knowledge and opportunities they need in order to develop themselves and become more effective.
Coaches don't develop people - they EQUIP people to develop themselves. Rarely will you have the time to involve yourself with every aspect of someone's development. Also, rarely will you posses all of the information, skills and wisdom that someone might need to ensure their development. Fortunately, there is no need to be perfect to be an effective coach. Instead, view your role as a catalyst for development.
Coaching is a continuous process, not an occasional conversation- "Let's sit down and have a coaching session" or a single event "It's time for you to take the advanced leadership class" You might compare yourself to an orchestra conductor, so that sometimes you work one on one with a player, other times you direct them from afar, and on some occasion you cut people loose so they can develop completely outside your scope. You guide them to learn and practice regularly, you help channel their passion to learn into the best opportunities, and you harmonize their playing with the other members of your team
Here is an example of coaching from our technical director at Church On The Rock, David Bonilla. Sometime ago we began using a software called Abelton to run our click tracks. We both knew that Abelton could do more than what we were using it for, now as David's coach I know all things in technology is his passion. So, as we were proceeding and moving forward with mastering what we were doing with Ableton at the time I began having discussions with David about getting Ableton to control our lyrics in real time with Ableton controlling pro-presenter, which is our lyrics software. Once we mastered what Ableton could do for us and how we were using it at that time I then gave David an assignment. I told him to take 3 weeks and figure out how we will go to the next step with this software in controlling our lyrics for our worship services. At the time he was a bit challenged but I could see in his eyes he was determined to figure this out. Within a week he figured it out. We were now going to the next level and once we mastered that level, we visited another conversation. Abelton now controlling our lights and moving in time with us, within two weeks he had it figured out.
Leadership Coaching is no different than coaching a bunch of athletes (football players) who come into spring training out of shape not even able to run a mile but my job is to motivate them and get them to see that they can do it. Since then, David now comes into my office with a billion ideas of what we can do and where we could or should go with our technology. He is always working on something to better our team. He is now self-motivated to learn and grow. He does it all on his own.
Coaches equip people to develop themselves!
Adapted from the book "Leader as Coach"