By Steve Cordle
One of the most helpful things a coach can do to increase the health of groups is to visit the group meeting. Seeing the group in action provides fresh insight and understanding to the coaching relationship.
Here are a few basics we teach our coaches:
1. Inform the leader in advance of your visit. It is not best to surprise the leader.
2. Participate as any other group member. At the beginning of the meeting the leader can introduce you as coach. Donâ€™t monopolize the meeting nor sit silently as an observer â€“ just enter the group life as any other member.
3. Follow up promptly: as soon as possible after the meeting share wit the leader 5 positive things you saw during the meeting, and then one suggestion. You will provide both encouragement and growth if you follow that 5:1 ratio. If there are multiple issues which need to be addressed in the group, resist the temptation to list them all. Ask yourself: what is the one issue, that if addressed, would make the biggest difference in this group? That becomes the â€œoneâ€.
After visiting the group, your coaching sessions will take on more clarity and perspective.
How often do you visit groups you coach? What do you think to be the ideal frequency?