Guiding Sustainable Community Change

An Introduction to Coaching

By Ken Hubbell and Mary Emery, Community Coaching Initiative

May 1, 2009


Ken Cohen, a former Horizons coach in Idaho, defines community change coaching as, “an adaptive proves tailored to unique community contexts to guide systemic change via participant empowerment.” This guidebook is meant to provide an introduction to this concept, and outline the practice of coaching for community change. It is part of an ongoing effort to develop a more comprehensive field guide.

Coaching is becoming an important component in community/organizational change initiatives as it addresses four trends: Rapidly changing communities, new leadership structures, increased emphasis on impact and increased return on investment.

This guide discusses why coaching is different from other community change approaches, how it can add value to capacity building efforts, the skills and competencies needed to succeed as a community coach, insights into what makes a coaching interaction successful, and evaluating the work of coaching and strategies. 

Table of Contents

Key Takeaway

Community coaches help people to learn from one another and from their own experiences.

Community coaches help people to learn and grow from their problems by helping them to take responsibility and empower themselves by focusing on their strengths. They are not the answer people; they help community members learn from one another and from their own experiences. The coach’s role is to learn with community members about how to build community capacity to do things more effectively.

Findings & Stats

Statements & Quotations