Skip to main content

Beta Welcome to our new website! See what's new


The Power of Coaching for Community Organisers

With applications now open for our 2024 Coaching Pod, Imani explains how coaching can be transformative for leadership development.

Imani Clough-Brown | 24 Jun 2024

Act Build Change community members can apply here to join our 2024 Coaching Pod.

At Act Build Change, we believe in the transformative power of coaching for community organisers. As the Membership Manager and Coaching Lead at Act Build Change, I’ve had the privilege of witnessing firsthand the profound impact that coaching can have on individuals and teams dedicated to social justice.

The sessions were a godsend to me. I don’t think anyone will ever realise how coaching came to me at the right time and helped me make some very difficult decisions by looking within myself. My team and community could see the benefits, even if some of the conversations that needed to be had were not easy.

— Peace building organiser in Northern Ireland

Coaching involves enabling people to enhance their capability to take action, making it a crucial leadership practice. This approach is particularly valuable in organising campaigns and training initiatives. Here are several examples where coaching expertise is imperative:

  • Assisting an organiser in overcoming motivational barriers faced by their volunteer team.
  • Guiding a leadership group in formulating effective strategies for their organising campaign.
  • Enhancing the communication skills of organisers to foster better relationships and collaboration within their community.

Despite the differing contexts, the fundamental coaching process remains consistent.

In the context of community organising, coaching becomes a catalyst for change by enabling people to build leaderful structures by centering each other's learning and development. It helps organisers see their own potential, overcome obstacles, and find innovative solutions to the challenges they face.

The power of coaching lies in its ability to foster a deeper connection with oneself and others, promoting a culture of care and continuous growth.

It has helped me a lot both in my personal and professional life in terms of offering support to others and also encouraging my own self reflection.

— Coaching Pod Pilot Participant

Reflecting on our journey with the Coaching Pod Pilot, I'm excited to share that this autumn, we are relaunching the Coaching Pod for our growing membership community.

This work reaffirms our commitment to make the methods of organising and collective care accessible to everyone who wants to end injustice in their lives and to build better worlds for all of us. Our goal is to continue supporting community organisers in their leadership development, providing them with the resources and networks they need to navigate the complexities of their social justice work.

If others have the opportunity to do training with Act Build Change, they should do it! Having the opportunity to do peer-coaching with other organisers has helped me grow and develop as an organiser in such a short space of time.

— Coaching Pod Pilot Participant

The Coaching Pod Pilot was an opportunity to curate a space to support community organisers in their leadership journeys. By sharing resources and building networks, we aimed to equip organisers with the tools they needed to make a lasting impact in their communities.

What to expect from Act Build Changes’ Coaching Pod

We know that community organisers are often working in environments fraught with complexity and challenges. Their work requires not only passion and dedication but also strategic thinking and resilience.

Through coaching rooted in peer to peer learning we provide a space for organisers to reflect, gain new perspectives, and develop their leadership skills.

Taking inspiration from Mia Mingus Pod Mapping concept, peers progress through the coaching pod with accountability, care and solidarity. Pod coaching is highly interactive, fun and often produces bonds of friendship and solidarity that long outlive the program.

During the coaching pod, you also have the chance to be paired with a specific peer who has similar interests and will enrich your learning with a different perspective on your work as you in turn support their learning and development in the same way.

As a peer in the pod you can expect to:

  • Learn tools and frameworks to support you in caring for yourself and each other including: communication, relationship and team building, boundaries, coaching and management, reflection and sustainability.
  • Gain an understanding of foundational key concepts around coaching and leadership
  • Benefit from a dedicated space for cross-sectoral reflection, peer-peer support, coaching practice and relationship building
  • A space for practice what you’ve learned!

At the heart of our work is a commitment to centering the voices of those closest to the issues, who have and continue to be systematically oppressed and marginalised even in this work. We recognise the importance of amplifying the voices of those who have been ignored and ensuring they have the support they need to lead and create winnable change. Coaching provides a powerful tool to uplift these voices, fostering leadership that is rooted in equity and justice.

As we look forward to the relaunch of the Coaching Pod this autumn, we are filled with hope and excitement for the future. The power of coaching lies in its ability to transform individuals and communities, unlocking the potential within each of us to create meaningful change.

We invite community organisers to join us on this journey, to find their own stories, and to connect with others in a way that drives social justice forward. Together, we can navigate the complexities of our world and build a more equitable and just society.