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Books for those in ministry organizations who desire to take their leadership, teams, governance, and ministry effectiveness to the next level.

12 Dec '12

How we respond to the coaching of our supervisor makes all the difference

Posted by T.J. Addington in coaching, mentoring, staff development, staff reviews
Healthy organizations build into their system a mentoring/coaching component to ensure that all staff are developing their professional skills on an ongoing basis. Unfortunately many supervisors treat this as a formality rather than an opportunity to develop their staff and many staff treat this as a necessary evil rather than as an opportunity to grow.

All of us should be under authority. It may be the authority of a supervisor or of a board but unless one is self employed, we live with authority. The question is whether we see the coaching and mentoring of our supervisor (or board) as a necessary evil or as an opportunity to grow, learn and develop. Our attitude toward the input of our supervisor(s) has a great deal to do with our capacity to grow.

Good supervisors want to see their staff flourish. The better my staff becomes, the better our ministry so I will do whatever it takes to develop and help my staff flourish. Good staff come to this relationship with both expertise and humility. They are on staff because of their expertise but they understand their limitations as well and desire to grow. Good supervisers have the ability to help staff think with greater clarity about their roles and how best to fulfill them.

As one who is both a supervisor and supervised (by the president of our denomination) I both want to help others grow and I want to grow. With those I supervise I desire to challenge and clarify and see their potential released. In my relationship with my supervisor I also want to be growing and released which requires me to take off my leader hat at times and put on the learner hat. Lets face it, we often like to mentor others more than be mentored as the former puts us in a position of influence while the latter requires a spirit of humility and learning. Of course leaders who cannot follow don't belong in leadership so it is a good balance and regular reminder.

Supervisors who take a mentoring role seriously think about how they can best coach their staff. Staff who take the input of their supervisor seriously prepare carefully for their monthly meeting. When it becomes perfunctory it loses its value. When both parties take it seriously it is deeply valuable.