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Help Potential Clients Feel Good about Getting Coaching by Michael Essenburg

Oct 31st, 2009 | By | Category: Missions Coaching - Guest Posts

michael-120x100You’re a missionary serving in Latin America. You send monthly newsletters to your supporters, and you send monthly reports to your mission. Each time you send a newsletter, you receive encouraging emails and notes; each time you send a report, you receive an acknowledgement (and most times not even that). Unless things aren’t going well—then you receive “feedback.”

Now you learn that your mission wants to encourage you to get coaching.

How do you feel about getting coaching? I wouldn’t be feeling good. And I’d be thinking, “Am I doing something wrong? Is something not going well? I think things are going well, so maybe coaching is for others. The mission tends to offer help when things aren’t going well, so coaching probably wouldn’t be useful.”

My point: If you want missionaries to feel good about getting coaching, you may need to help them see coaching as a way of getting positive feedback (like they get from supporters). You can do this by:

  • Explaining that the coach provides encouragement (not criticism).
  • Sharing that coaching is a way to build on strengths.
  • Emphasizing that in coaching, the client (not the supervisor) decides what to work on.

What are some other ways you can help missionaries feel good about getting coaching?

Michael Essenburg, a missionary with Christian Reformed World MIssions, uses coaching to empower Christian leaders and organizations to close the gap. Michael has served in Japan for over 20 years. To learn more, please visit
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