Coaching Pitfalls


October 24, 2012

OK, it’s confession time – I don’t always practice proper coaching.  I take short-cuts.  I get lazy. I get too busy.  As a result, I fall into some bad habits that do a disservice to my coaching client, God and myself.

Here’s a list of my top offenses:

1.  Lack of prayer

Thinking that I’m good enough and don’t need God’s help is a recipe for disaster.   False pride is at the root of prayerlessness.  It must be confessed and dealt with.  Prayer before, during and after a coaching session is a must.

2. Long questions

When I don’t take the time to prepare well before a coaching session, it shows.  My questions are thought up on the fly and they start to ramble.  They get long.  As a result, my coaching client is more likely to be confused and frustrated.  Short questions are well prepared questions.

3. Distractions

My coaching client expects my undivided attention.  When I answer a text message or email during a coaching session, I’m defrauding my coaching client.

4.  Neglecting a coaching agreement.

It’s too easy to just jump into a coaching relationship and avoid doing some important pre-work.  Coaching agreements from day one establish expectations and will help you avoid misunderstandings in the future.

5. Failing to ask for feedback

It is way too easy for me to only ask questions about what’s going well in a coaching relationship.  Hearing from a coaching client about what I could do better as a coach is sometimes painful, but in the long run beneficial.

Now that I got all this off my chest, I feel better.  But what about you?   What is there on this list that you need to own, confess, and change?   Is it time for you to stop some bad coaching habits?

For more from Rainer Kunz, click here.

RainerRainer Kunz is a pastor, church planter, college professor, and of course, top level coach. Rainer also lives out his passion for the Great Commission by assessing and coaching church planters throughout the world.  Reach him at

Comments (2) - Post a Comment
This is a very practical post, Rainer. Thanks for adding value to the coaching profession (mine, in particular).

I would add to the list: Imposing your personal experience on the client's journey. Whether I verbalized my experience or use it internally as I craft coaching questions, I don't honor the client.
Scott Couchenour at 4:55pm EDT - October 26, 2012
I have a very strict rule that I tell my clients must be followed and that is having the prep form to me at least 12 hours before our coaching session. My clients are happy and so am I when the client remembers to do this - usually no problem. But at times I have a client that doesn't remember "often" and I will regretfully coach them without it and forgo my own rule. Bad Deb!
Deborah at 3:32pm EDT - October 26, 2012

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