In my last post on coaching, I outlined my template or model for coaching conversations with community leaders. In that post I promised to introduce alternative coaching models I have found helpful. I want to explain and unpack the “Hour Glass” model which is the foundational model on which all others are built. Then, I will unpack and explain Robert Logan’s 5Rs. The “5 Rs” and the book Coaching 101 are the most helpful Christian coaching resources and tools I have found and are a staple in Bread&Wine’s equipping of coaches.

The “Hour Glass” Model

hourglass-pic

This image is one of the best aids for a coach during conversations. You are starting broad, focusing, and then zooming out again for the big picture.

This traditional coaching model highlights the intentionality and focusing of coaching conversations. It is a helpful picture to have in our heads as coaches because it helps us focus on one important thing. This model provides rails to avoid talking about everything a leader is facing instead of diving deeply into the most important. It also asks the question: “Yeah that’s a really issue, but is that what we need to talk about today in regards to you and your community?” This alone is helpful for leaders. Many times the answer is yes, and gives leaders confidence. Sometimes the answer is no and leads to obedience to what God has called them to instead of what urgency is demanding of them.

Connect

Each conversation begins with a relational connection and an initial discovery of some of the issues or opportunities that can be discussed in the conversation. It is in this realm that every potential topic gets put on the proverbial table.

Focus

With all the potential topics on the table, a coach facilitates focus towards the one thing. The one important thing to take steps with is not  obvious and it isn’t always the most urgent. That is one gift of coaching, it helps free us from the tyranny of the urgent and the dramatic and focus on what is important.

Discover

As the conversations begins focus on one issue or opportunity, the coach and leader begin to discover and examine the different factors and aspects of the topic. What makes it hard? How is this related to the whole? What are the barriers? What are the openings? What causes this to surface as something you want to talk about? If this changes, what else changes? What are some things that could be done about it? What are some potential next steps?

Action

This processes of focusing and discovering is drawing the conversation to a climatic resolution. What will I do next? When will I do it? How do I need to prepare to do it?

Discover and Evaluate

The decision for movement and action has been made. Now, we we get to discover and evaluate the choice. How do we feel about it? How will this next step impact other things? How limited is this next step? What other things might need to be done in follow up? How committed am I to the next step?

The “5 Rs” Model

As I mentioned in the introduction, Robert Logans, coaching model, mentality, and tools have been very influential on me. This model is excellent. It is easy to remember, easy to implement, and easy to know where you are in the conversation. In fact, these questions can almost be copied and pasted into every conversation you have with leaders. The 5 Rs give dignity to the leader, the process, and listening to what God is saying and doing. It is also self-explanatory!

Relate

  • How are you?
  • What can we celebrate?

Reflect

  • What progress has been made?
  • What challenges are you facing?
  • Where are you now?
  • Where do you sense God wanting you to go?

Refocus

  • What would be different?
  • What are some possible next steps to getting there?
  • Which ones seem most helpful for giving you traction to move forward?
  • What will you do?

Resource

  • Who can come alongside you to help?
  • What else do you need?

Review

  • What are the next steps you can take between now and our next session?
  • What was helpful to you in this conversation?

Read more about this model and approach online and in the book, Coaching 101 by Robert Logan.

Other Quality Coaching and Leadership Resources

If you really want to dive in deep into coaching philosophy, models, and leadership development, here are some great reads. Some are very corporate and secular while others are theological and Christ-centered.

Christ-Centered Coaching by Jane Creswell

Fathering Leaders, Motivating Mission by David Devenish

Leverage Your Best and Ditch the Rest by Scott Blanchard and Madeleine Homan

The One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard

Co-active Coaching by Karen and Henry Kimsey-House

CONTINUE LEARNING

This is post 6 in a series on coaching and leading leaders. The goal is that leaders, from a diversity of contexts, will be able to start coaching with confidence and awareness. Continue reading or subscribe to the blog to be updated with each new installment.

Brad A. Watson serves as a pastor of Bread&Wine Communities in Portland, Oregon where he develops, coaches, and trains leaders to form communities that love God and serve the city. Brad is passionate about helping people live lives that reflect their belief and hope in Jesus. He lives in southeast Portland with his wife and their three kids.