Coalition Members Learn How to Integrate Coaching into Homebuyer Readiness Programs

In November, 17 practitioners in the Native homeownership field completed a three-day training where they learned about new financial coaching methods to integrate into their programs. The training, hosted by the Coalition and co-facilitated by CNM Ingenuity and Seven Sisters Community Development Group, focused on a coaching model that is designed to empower clients. Different from the traditional case management model where practitioners advise clients, coaching asks powerful questions so that the client can identify their own goals and create their own path to attain those goals.

“This approach reminds me of how our elders talk to us. They allow silence and reflection so you know what you need to do,” says Vickie Oldman John of Seven Sisters who helped facilitate the training.

Training participants learned how to avoid reacting to crises along with several important components of coaching, such as whole body listening and personal self-talk. They also participated in several interactive exercises where they were able to put their new skills to the test.

“Learning the tools to be a financial coach has been an exciting process. It forces you to think outside the box to come up with creative questions,” says Kimberly Claymore from Cheyenne River Housing Authority.

The training also included a segment on how to integrate the coaching model into an organizational culture. This segment allowed participants to brainstorm ideas and develop plans on how to use this new method in their work with clients.

“Financial coaching is something I’ve been interested in since I began my job as an Individual Development Account coach. I plan to put my financial coaching training to immediate use,” said Elaine MatoTama Hece from the Oglala Sioux Tribe Partnership for Housing on Pine Ridge.

The financial coaching training was inspired out of a need expressed by the Coalition’s Homebuyer Readiness Committee who established it as a milestone to complete in 2017. All training participants received text book and a financial calculator.