Sell the Problem

Most leaders try to sell a solution or answer, when what we really need to do is sell the problem. Human nature dictates that most people will resist if someone just tells them what to do. We want to be included in the process, and really understand what’s going on behind the scenes.

Once people are sold on the problem, they’ll be ready to move forward with the solution, even if that means a big shift into a new coaching culture. When one of the churches I was pastoring was outgrowing our current building, I didn’t start the conversation about moving or renovating when we were at 80% capacity (as most consultants advise). Instead, I waited.

I waited until the church began to get uncomfortably full. When congregants were noticing a lack of space. Then I started talking about how great it was that we were all here, but what were we going to do now? We batted around options like meeting off site at the local fire hall, but then the group came up with the solution to move to a new building.

If I had brought up the topic of moving when we were still 80% full, it would have likely met with resistance. By selling the congregation on the problem and inviting them into deciding the solution, we could all move forward together.

It’s one thing to be talking about how your organization needs a coaching culture and how to go about getting one, but what you really need to be talking about is why. Let people feel the need, so they can start the inner transformation that is required for long-term change.

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