How to Do an “Exit Interview” for a Launch-Phase Coach

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In a previous post I shared my "secret formula" for how I recruit a small group coach. If you didn't read it, you should go back and read it first. Then, what I'm going to tell you today will make a lot more sense.

Today I want to tell you how I do a kind of "exit interview" for a launch-phase coach when they come to the end of their "ten week commitment (again, if you didn't read my previous post, go back and read it).

A 10 Week Commitment

The idea of a short-term commitment is important for two reasons:

  1. Just like when you make the HOST ask and it's for 6 weeks, a short-term commitment appeals to a potential coach.  They are more likely to "give it a try" if it's for 10 weeks than what appears to be a one year commitment or a lifetime appointment (like a supreme court judge).
  2. 10 weeks gives you time to evaluate their performance and satisfaction.  This is important because you want to end up with coaches who are both fruitful in their role and fulfilled in doing it.  They need to be BOTH fruitful and fulfilled.  One or the other will never do.  A coach who is anything less than fruitful and fulfilled will be a poor fit for the role.

How to Do an "Exit Interview" for a launch-phase coach:

With that reminder, here's how I do an "exit interview" for a launch phase coach.

Step One

As the new groups the launch-phase coach is coaching are moving through their first study together, it will often be obvious whether their coach is actually engaged.  The leader's will mention the coach and their helpfulness or the coach will mention their conversations with the new leader(s).  We are keeping close tabs on new groups and as they approach week 4 or 5 we want to know whether they are thinking about continuing and we ask the coaches to check in with each of their leaders about their plans.

Note: In the same way we want the coach to have a weekly conversation with each new leader by phone or in person, a community leader is touching base with each new coach every week during their 10 week commitment.

Step Two

When we schedule an exit interview we will already know how many of the coach's new groups are planning to continue.  We'll also have a sense for the coach's effectiveness.  This awareness comes from our communication both with the new leaders and the coach.  It is inexact but offers a fairly accurate impression.

Scheduling an "exit interview" is as simple as, "Hi Dave!  I'd love to hear about your experience with the new leaders over the last few weeks.  Can we get a cup of coffee?"

Note: We don't call it an "exit interview" and the launch-phase coaches don't think of it as that.  It is just a conversation.

Step Three

The essence of the conversation is two-fold:

  1. We want to find out how they felt about what they were doing.
  2. We want to thank them for helping.

Finding out how they felt about what they were doing is important because it is the test for fulfillment.  We should already know whether they were fruitful (see steps one and two).  We need to know whether they liked doing it or not.  That usually is as simple as, "Dave, how does it feel to know that 3 of the 4 groups you were coaching are going to continue?"

There are three ways the exit interview can go:

  1. If the launch-phase coach expresses fulfillment in the role (i.e., "it's cool to know that my groups are continuing!), and if they were fruitful (i.e., their groups are continuing), we will affirm them for their role and invite them to consider continuing as a coach.
  2. If the launch-phase coach was fruitful but is indifferent about the role of a coach (i.e., less than fulfilled), we will simply thank them for helping and ask if we can call on them again in the future.
  3. If the launch-phase coach was ineffective we will simply thank them for helping and ask if we can call on them again in the future.

Note: We want to build a coaching structure with hundred-fold people who are both fruitful and fulfilled.  Nothing less.

What do you think?  Have a question?  Want to argue?  You can click here to jump into the conversation.

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