I frequently refer to SEND U as SEND’s training department, although I realize that training is also only part of what it means to “equip SEND missionaries and leaders to more effectively mobilize God’s people and engage the unreached in order to establish reproducing churches.” The other half of what we do in SEND U, and a major focus of me personally is coaching. The byline of our newsletter says “BY COACHING AND TRAINING, WE EQUIP MISSION LEADERS TO EFFECTIVELY MOBILIZE THEIR TEAMS TO ENGAGE THE UNREACHED AND ESTABLISH REPRODUCING CHURCHES.” Are coaching and training two separate assignments or are they somehow related? I see training and coaching as two complementary “hands,” both needed to develop our membership to accomplish our mission.
In fact, training becomes much more effective when combined with coaching. An article in Public Personal Management analyzes the impact of a managerial training program. They found that the training itself improved the managers’ productivity by 22.4 percent. But when the training was followed by 8 weeks of one-on-one coaching, the productivity of these managers increased by 88 percent. The reason for this significant jump in training impact is not hard to understand. The training course supplied the content, the information, the framework. But the coaching helped each participant put that information into practice by giving encouragement, accountability and help with goal setting, problem-solving and evaluation. That great material didn’t just stay in the binder and fill a spot on the managers’ bookshelf, but actually was translated into real life changes in the way he or she led.
How can we effectively use coaching to follow-up on our training seminars or the online modules which we will be developing? Should this coaching be provided by the training facilitators, by SEND leaders, by SEND U personnel, or by other participants in the seminar (peer coaching)? These are questions which our SEND U Leadership Team will seek to address in the coming months. I invite you to share your ideas and thoughts with me about how coaching and training can work together. (Make a comment below.)
For an example of how I plan to do follow-up for our first-ever online training module for team leaders that concluded on October 10, take a look at my post on October 12, 2010. This follow-up plan does not necessarily involve coaching, but it may lead to that. I know of at least two of our class participants who have told me that they want coaching to help them implement the changes they want to make as a result of the training.