Connecting Leaders for
Prayer and City
Inner~View #029 LC2C
Interviewed John Barcanic,President,
Barcanic Coaching and
LC2C ~ John, what is the
path God led you on that has brought you to the point of being a coach?
I first heard about coaching back when I was church
planting in the Chicago area. I was invited to a seminar the Chicago Metro
Baptist Association held on coaching church planters. I remember having such a
feeling of excitement well up inside me as I realized that everything they were
talking about was describing me. So much of what I was hearing I was already
doing on instinct.
It took a number of years, additional training, and a
lot more experience before I felt I could really get involved as a coach in any
official basis. Ever since that first experience, though God consistently gave
me fruit as I coached others, even informally.
LC2C ~ How does a coach
think differently than, say, a teacher or trainer?
If we think of a continuum and label the left end "I'm
the expert" and label the right end "my client is the expert" we can come to
some understanding of the differences. A teacher would fall close to the left
end. The teacher is often an expert in the field and is passing along that
expertise to the students. A trainer might come closer to the center where there
is some give and take, but really the student is relying on the trainer to
provide the answers. A counselor might fall closer to the right end of the
continuum. The counselor has expertise that he or she will share, but often it's
the act of sharing with the counselor that brings clarity to the client's
situation. A coach falls further on the right side of the continuum. The
expertise of the coach is to draw out the potential of the client. The coach
asks powerful questions, actively listens, and then guides the client to
possible solutions. Though a coach will help broaden the conversation with his
or her own ideas, it is never to say, "This is what you should do." Rather the
coach and client work together to discover the best way forward.
LC2C ~ Teams are "in"
because they can be so much more effective ... But what many do not know is that
they are much more difficult to lead. Why?
Teams take a lot more time and energy that if you just
did the work yourself. A good team leader will often resemble a conductor --
keeping all the different parts of the orchestra together, more than a general
or a boss. The reason for this is that teams are only effective in producing
results when they're effective in working together. There's a "soft side," a
"people side," to working with teams that takes energy and skill. Effective
teams engage in open communication, healthy conflict, and maintain group
accountability. Both the team leader and team members need to learn to be
vulnerable and open with each other. Some leaders don't like the risk involved
in this kind of leadership. Others feel like the time they're dealing with
"people issues" is really just babysitting, failing to see the connection
between the health of the team and its effectiveness.
LC2C ~ What are some of the
benefits a coach brings to a team?
A coach can come alongside a team and provide an
objective voice. Growing healthy teams requires a common language in dealing
with conflict, setting goals, and measuring success. A coach can help provide
that language. High-performing teams know each other well, have developed trust,
and have members who are open with each other. Coaches can provide safe contexts
where teams can begin to grow in vulnerability, trust and openness. They can
lead teams through exercises that help foster these kinds of qualities.
In addition, coaches can work directly with team
leaders over time. Rather than a one-shot seminar, which can often just be a
less-than-useful data dump, coaches can meet with leaders on a weekly basis
helping them implement changes that will result in increased team health and
maximizing team performance.
LC2C ~ Give us some
one-sentence wisdom for building excellent teams:
Wow, just one sentence?
===>Click headline to access John's seminar notes on Team Building . . .
* Leadership –The single best thing a leader can do is
make sure the right people are on the team and in the right roles.
* Conflict - Healthy conflict is necessary, but make
sure it stays on the issues and doesn't become about the team or team members.
* Meetings - Well-run meetings always have a purpose.
Ask yourself, "If this meeting is successful what will we have accomplished?"
(Sorry, that's two sentences!)
* Communication - I'm going to assume I'm speaking
mostly to majority-culture Americans. Minorities and other cultures can
sometimes see communication differently which is a whole topic of its own. The
most important thing about communication is to make it real, honest, open, and
* Roles - Everyone needs to know their role, the roles
of the other members of the team, and how to understand the role of the team
* Goals – In addition to being Strategic, Measurable,
Attainable, and Time (SMAT), goals need to be owned by the group so everyone
knows who is responsible for what, by when, and what success will look like.
LC2C ~What is the most
critical factor you first look for when working with a team?
The most critical factor is the team leader. John
Maxwell had it right when he said, "Everything rises and falls on leadership."
The second most important thing is communication. If a team can communicate
well, a lot of other things can be made to work. If a team doesn't communicate
well a lot of other strengths won't be utilized effectively.
LC2C ~ John, write a prayer
that teams can prayer together that propels them forward, together, into God's
destiny . . .
Father, you've brought us together for a purpose.
You've told us in your Word that you've prepared in advance good works that each
of us should do. May we fulfill your purpose in our individual lives and in our
life together as a team. Give us wisdom, discernment, creativity, energy,and
unity as we pursue you and the purpose for which you've brought us together. May
we accomplish more together than we ever could apart. And most importantly, may
we look back and see that what has been done has been accomplished by your
Spirit in us, for your glory. In Jesus' Name, Amen.