There’s More to Leadership than Your Expertise
The item today is Coaching: In order to get choir officers, committee members, or other members in ministry work in areas related to music ministry, it’s important to help people reach their potential in the tasks assigned. Delegate to capable, interested people and then help them to be successful. The secret of not getting burned out is to delegate enough things that you can then have time to followup and help people succeed.
What is coaching?
Here’s a succinct description:
Managing is making sure people do what they know how to do. Training is teaching people to do what they don’t know how to do. Mentoring is showing people how the people who are really skilled do it. Counseling is helping people come to terms with past issues from which they are healing. Coaching is none of these. Coaching creates awareness so you see why you get the results you do and helps you change your thinking so you get the results you want.
The difference between coaching and mentoring is significant. Coaching is assisting others to achieve a higher level of functioning, decision making, and clarity through active listening, effective questioning, direct response, and probing to allow the person coached to achieve a better performance standard and not be dependent on the coach for input or approval. The coach is not necessarily a subject matter expert.
The mentor, on the other hand is a subject matter expert who instructs and guides the mentee providing specific instructions and or corrections as the mentee gains knowledge and experience. Coaches may sometimes serve as mentor when coaching within an organization on topics that are their skill and experience. Mentors are not coaches and coaches are not typically mentors.
Constantly providing instructions builds in dependence. It is, moreover, a form of overfunctioning. The Psychologist Murray Bowen, author of Bowen Family Systems, defines overfunctioning as “irresponsible responsibility.”
Coaching technique is composed mostly of listening. A famous coach of coaches stated that coaching is 90% listening. He goes on to point out that most of the rest is listening. Coaching is a leadership skill in that the leader influences others to rise to a higher level of functioning.
The top skill of the Transformational Leader is to define things to take off your plate, that is, things to delegate. Delegation is an learned skill that takes a lot of rehearsing. Before, something can be delegated effectively, the leader must define the end result, or the goal or the task description as completed. Define what it looks like when completed. DO NOT, I repeat, do not define all the actions necessary to complete the task or goal. This is the area for support.
- Coaching is building and strengthening relationships.
- Coaching is a way to build leaders on teams.
- Coaching is an answer to the 08/20 rule. Spend time with the 20% that will produce 80% of the results.
Here’s an example: For many, many years in church music ministry, i maintained the tradition of an annual choir retreat. I defined the retreat as 1/3rd rehearsal, 1/3rd social, and 1/3rd spiritual. The retreat was always from Friday dinner through Sunday lunch. We got a substitute choir for the Sunday morning that we were at retreat. We even recruited one of our pastors to attend and lead Sunday worship and morning other various activities.
I defined the event and developed a draft schedule with the idea that we could refine it together they needed a template to work from. Once we agreed on the format and the desired outcomes to learn new music for the fall, to have our own worship, and to have fun.
Once we had the format down, we assigned roles and responsibilities here’s the key: I kept my name off any task except leading rehearsals. That’s the key! Assign everything to others. I met with this team over the following weeks. This is the coaching place. Meet regularly with team, have clear deliverables and action items, and roles and responsibilities. Review it with them regularly and define those meetings in advance. Setting the mechanisms for accountability in advance. Having these in place gives the team the confidence to excel.
Tip: Find a coaching resource and learn about effective coaching remember, it’s about asking questions and leading people into discovery and self growth. Here’s a book that is a good resource from Harvard Press: Coaching People: Expert Solutions to Everyday Challenges.
You’ll will discover that coaching is similar to conducting you must empower others to perform.
Be the best you can be as a professional church musician, which is very different from a musician that does church music.
If you want to share other steps for nurture or tips for success, please comment.
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