After 18 months of development, I’m very excited to introduce Coach22’s new Peer Coach Training program! This DVD-based coaching course finally provides a way to deliver a top-notch coach-training experience at your church without bringing in an outside facilitator. With quality materials, a user-friendly format, multiple schedule options, and a price of only $10 to $12 per participant, I believe peer coaching will be an important catalyst to fostering the broad adoption of coaching in the church. I’m looking forward with great anticipation to see what some of you end up doing with this new tool! So let me give you a brief overview of how it works and what you can accomplish with it.
What Does It Do?
Peer Coach Training is about helping people grow. It provides a structure for developing accountable, growth-centered peer coaching relationships. In this 8-week experience, participants choose a peer partner, build a transparent relationship and begin meeting regularly on their own (starting in week four) to pursue important growth goals they set and find mutual support. Along the way, they learn fundamental coaching skills like goal-setting, developing action steps and helping others grow without telling them what to do.
Stop for a minute and imagine: how would your church’s spiritual atmosphere be different if every person set a personal growth goal, and took just one action step toward it each week? What effect would it have on your small group system if every participant met weekly with a peer coach from their group? And what if everyone in your church, from the grassroots on up, had been trained in the basic relational and growth skills of the coaching approach?
That’s the kind of thing peer coaching can do.
How Does It Work?
Let me share a little about the nuts and bolts of the process. The peer coach training course includes eight 60- to 90-minute group sessions plus an orientation, usually done over a nine-week span. A typical training session features a brief (5 to 10 minute) teaching segment on a core coaching practice, followed by a demonstration of that skill in action (both from the DVD). Next, participants debrief on what they saw, then break up into peer pairs for a peer coaching practice exercise. Each session closes with a short action step to be done during the week (to build the habit of taking action), and the next week’s session begins with a progress report on that step. By putting the teaching and coaching demonstrations (the most challenging parts) on DVD, we’ve made it possible to offer excellent basic coach training no matter where you are in the process of developing your own coaching skills.
Two things make this program different than the run-of-the-mill DVD training course. First is the “Tell > Show > Discuss > Do” training method. Instead of just watching a teaching and discussing it, participants are challenged to draw the principles out of a demonstration, then put those learnings into practice during the class sessions. A second difference is that the course is designed to build ongoing peer relationships outside of the class time. This approach requires a greater commitment from participants, but offers a much larger payoff in return.
Who Is Peer Coaching for?
Peer Coach Training works great for almost any small or mid-sized group. You can use it in:
- Small groups, cell groups or house churches
- Men’s or Women’s groups
- Ministry or leadership teams
- As a course offering within your Christian Education structure
- To offer coach training to small group or cell coaches
- To provide coaching in situations where you don’t have enough coaches
Since the program builds lasting relationships, it is a great asset for established groups that want to foster deeper relationships
How Do I Start?
To offer Peer Coach Training, you need a Facilitator’s Package for yourself and a Workbook for each participant. The included Facilitator’s Guide tells you everything you need to know to launch peer coaching in your church. We also have an on-line Peer Coaching Resource page with extra free resources, and a Peer Coaching FAQ to answer any questions you have.
Tony Stoltzfus is a master coach and trainer who has developed many training materials for coaching as we as establishing a school to train people in encounter coaching.