“Coaching is partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.” (International Coaching Federation)
Ever just feel stuck in life, like the wheels are turning but only digging a large rut? Do you get up with a ho-hum feeling day after day? Do you have vision for the future but can’t seem to take the first step or have no idea what the first step is? Maybe you’re facing a huge life transition and you’re in a fog over it, not knowing how you feel or where to start. Do you wish your team functioned more effectively, more productively and maybe even liked each other in the process? These are just a small sampling of the types of situations that can be greatly benefited through coaching.
Christian coaching is a collaborative effort between the Holy Spirit, a coach and coachee (individual or group) that empowers the coachee to walk out the calling that God has placed on their life with a new sense of joy and fullness! By coaching through the lens of a Biblical worldview the coach can help create an awareness of God-given gifts and talents, develop new growth spiritually and emotionally as well as strengthen or build new relationship skills. In connection with the Holy Spirit the coach helps the client create new and powerful action steps that effect personal and / or team change; all leading to more fulfillment and productivity.
Sounds amazing right? Is it really possible? I’m amazed at what the Lord has done through the coaching experiences I’ve been a part of both as a coach and as a coachee. It starts with a desire to change and grow, then a willingness to be open and vulnerable to the Lord. If those two things are in place and the person or team chooses to trust the process of coaching the sky’s the limit as to what can take place. It’s a journey, not an overnight success, but even after the first call I’ve heard the relief in the voices of the client’s I’ve worked with. They often feel like, ‘finally, I’m taking steps toward where I want to be’.
I believe everyone can benefit from being coached at some point in their life. An International Coaching Federation study found that coaching can increase your professional and personal effectiveness by as much as 80%. They reported that clients found benefits in:
- Increased self-confidence
- Improved relationships
- Better communication skills
- Enhanced interpersonal skills
- More work/life balance
- Increased wellness
- New career opportunities
- Improved time management
There are many coaches in the world with different niches (specialties). I love to work with ministry leaders, especially pastors. I’ve sat across from over a 100 leaders through the years and see the great need for a safe person to be open and honest with. I know Christian leaders carry a lot of weight, often more than the Lord ever asked them to. Heaviness, put there by the expectations of others or their own drivenness. It’s so rewarding to see them begin to unload that weight as they step into the freedom God has for them.
I also love to put my 23 years as a marriage and family therapist to work in relationship coach; helping couples find new tools for communication and conflict resolution.
What does coaching look like? That varies coach to coach and by the needs of each coachee. Most coaching is done via phone conversations but some coaches also work over a video call. Coaching face to face especially in an office setting is rare. The benefits of this is great anonymity and convenience. I’ve conducted my 45 – 50 minute coaching sessions with coachees from their offices, home, car, in a hotel room, sitting at a park or by the river. The key is being fully tuned in, something to jot notes on and ready to grow.
Another powerful aspect of coaching is the coachee is in charge of the agenda. They choose their goals and desired outcomes. The coach helps support them in reaching their goals through encouragement and accountability in a safe, nonjudgmental environment.The coach will work with the coachee on gaining new insights through various methods such as (but not limited to) active listening, brainstorming, values clarification, utilizing assessments, finding strengths, exploring any obstacles that keep the client from realizing their goals and developing new strategies for overcoming them.
If you haven’t before considered coaching ask yourself these questions. Am I content at this time in my life, my relationship, my career, my ministry? What areas of my life would I like to see growth in? What prevents me from moving forward in that growth? What am I willing to do to walk in the freedom God has for me?
Below are resources for finding a coach…