Sample Coaching Conversation

Gina:  So much is happening.  My husband has just gotten a great job offer about two hours away, so we would need to move by the end of the year.  My work is going really well, so I’m not sure I want to move right now.  And our church is expanding to two services on Sundays, which means that our worship team will have to be at both services.  That means a lot more time at the church for me.

Coach:  Gina, you have so much going on!  Where would you like to focus?

Gina:  I didn’t even mention that we had decided to do a major kitchen project, and I have to travel all of next month.  I really need to figure out how to do all of this!

Coach:  Wow.  No wonder you said, “So much is happening!” So, what would be best for us to discuss right now

Gina:  I really don’t know.  I feel like I’m spinning!

Coach:  As you think of all of this, what is most pressing to talk about?

Gina:  I’m not really sure.

Coach:  (silence, at least for 10 seconds)

Gina:  I think I want to talk about moving.  That’s where I want to start because a move out of town would impact all the other issues-my church’s worship team, my job, and the kitchen remodeling.

Coach:  Great place to begin, Gina!  As you think about moving, where do you want to start?

Gina:  (pause) Where we could live.  I guess we could live in between our two job locations, so we’d each have an hour drive.  Or we could live near Nick’s work, and I could check into working from home.  I probably should check into that at work, but I don’t want them to know that I’m moving yet.

Coach:  So, first you need to decide about where you want to live and if you have the option of telecommuting…

Gina:  Actually, if telecommuting is a possibility, that will determine where we can live. I’ll start checking into that first.

Coach:  By when do you think you will have more clarity on this?

Gina:  I hope by Friday.  I’ll start with HR and see what our policies are.  I don’t want to talk with my manager yet, but maybe I’ll need to sooner than I think.  Hmmm…

Coach:  Sounds like you may have another action…

Gina:  Yes.  Hey, what am I afraid of?  My manager and I get along great.  I’m not quitting!  I think he’ll be thrilled that I’m looking for ways to keep working here.

Coach:  Great.  And, with that awareness, your actions are…

Gina:  First, I want to talk with my husband and let him know what we’ve talked about.  Then I want to check with HR to see about telecommuting.  I want to find out who else is doing it in our company.  Maybe HR can tell me.  And, I’ll start thinking about how to present this this to my manager.

Coach:  Wow, that’s great.  By when do you expect to have all these conversations?

Gina:  Two weeks, max.  I’m ready to go!

Source:  Miller, Linda J. and Chad W. Hall. Coaching for Christian Leaders: A Practical Guide. Chalice Press 2007. p. 56-57