Using Coaching Triads

One very helpful coaching tool to use when you have a small group of three gathered is called the coaching triad. I first learned about this tool in a coaching training workshop led by Bob Logan, coach and co-author of Coaching 101: Discover the Power of Coaching. It is simple and effective when you have a group or groups of ministry leaders meeting together. A coaching triad uses peer coaching where members of the group take turns coaching one another. Here's how it's done.


Gather a group of three people who are in need of coaching. If possible, they should be working in a common area of ministry or leadership.


First, explain to the group the basics elements of coaching including the how and why of peer coaching. I have found it useful to prepare a one-page handout that summarizes the definition, essence and elements of effective coaching. This handout and teaching guide would include the following elements:


The definition of coaching, and peer coaching in particular

The why of coaching for increasing ministry effectiveness

The importance of asking coaching questions

The use of open-ended coaching questions including some sample questions to use in a triad

The value of listening to the answers with focus and intent

The coaching tool of helping the person being coached set SMART goals


Explain that the coaching triad will normally take 90 minutes. This allows for each person in the triad to be focus of coaching for 30-minutes. It is important that each person have equal time of 30-minutes for being coached including time to share what he or she will do as a result of the coaching and also be prayed for by the other two in the triad.


The first person to be the subject of the coaching will then be coached by the other two during his or her time in the triad. This is not a time for those who are doing the coaching to share their own experiences or stories. It is a time for asking and listening. Be sure to include prayer for the needs that have come up during the coaching session before passing the baton to the next person who will be coached. This continues until all three participants have been coached for 30-minutes each. The rule is everyone is coached and prayed for equally.


It is important that those in the triad commit to holding one another accountable and that they communicate with one another and pray for one another in between triad coaching sessions.


It is recommended that these coaching triads meet in person monthly. Triads can choose to reorganize every twelve months. If one person leaves the triad during the tenure of the meetings, a new person can be added or two of the original three people can meet together for the same coaching time each until someone can be added and a new triad is formed.


I have discovered that coaching triads can be very helpful for pastor gatherings where participants share common ministries or leadership positions.


What gatherings might be good times and places for coaching triads in your ministry?


Photo from Priscilla Du Preez @priscilladupreez found on