This post will make the most sense if you understand that it is part of The Leader 101 Course: Cultivating Habits of Highly Effective Spiritual Leaders
- Lesson One (June 2015). Cultivating the habit of joy
- Lesson Two (July 2015). Cultivating the habit of praying 10:2b
- Lesson Three (August 2015). Cultivating the habit of looking expectantly for 10:2b answer
- Lesson Four (September 2015). Cultivating the habit of carrying people (especially 10:2b answers) in your heart.
- Lesson Five (October 2015). Cultivating the habit of shepherding your flock.
- Lesson Six (November and December 2015). Cultivating the habit of interactive gratitude.
- Lesson Seven (January and February 2016). Cultivating the habit of attention paying
- Lesson Eight (March 2016). Cultivating the habit of gentle curiosity (Coaching)
*Watch the video and then continue with the assignments below the video (click on the picture to watch this video).
What is coaching?
The word “coaching” can have many different meanings depending on the context. Here’s how we in the LK10 Community are using the word…
Coaching is one person helping another by asking meaningful questions and listening deeply with gentile curiosity.
Further insights into how we understand coaching…
- Prevenience: Coaching is rooted in an understanding of God’s prevenience. “God is the sovereign initiator of our growth, setting the agenda and motivating us to move forward through the real events in our lives. Change starts with God’s action. Therefore, a coach waits to see what God is doing in the client’s life before engaging it, instead of trying to push a change agenda on the client.” Stoltzfus, Leadership Coaching, p. 74.
- Training radical attention payers. Since God prevenient, our first job is to learn to pay close attention to what He is doing and saying. And, to train others to do the same. Coaching is a way of helping another person gain clarity about what God is initiating in their lives.
- Coaching and being coached. We believe there is great value both in being coached and coaching others.
- Facilitating. We distinguish between “coaching” and “facilitating”. Coaching helps one person pay close attention to what God is doing/saying in their life. Facilitating helps a group pay close attention to what God is doing/saying in their midst. We will learn about the skill of facilitating a group in Lesson Nine.
- Mentoring vs coaching. Coaching is characterized by “drawing out of people” whereas mentoring is “pouring into people”. There is a place for both. The key is in knowing what is needed in any specific situation.
- Informal Coaching. You can practice asking meaningful questions and listening deeply with gentile curiosity in any context. (You probably wouldn’t even refer to this as coaching even though you are using similar skills.) “Coaching skills can make every conversation you have transformational. I use coaching questions every day, with my kids, in supermarket checkout lines, on airplanes – every conversation is an opportunity to coach. Learning these skills can improve your performance as a leader, take your relational skills from good to great, and give you the tools you need to develop the leaders around you.” Stoltzfus, p. x.
- Intentional Coaching. At times it is appropriate to ask for coaching in a more intentional manner… “Could you coach me on this?” Likewise, at times it is appropriate to offer coaching in a more intentional manner… “Would you like some coaching on this?” Our desire is that these kinds of intentional conversations happen on a regular basis in the LK10 Community.
- Checking in with SASHET. This is sometimes a good place to ask for or offer coaching. Sometimes all that is needed is to listen carefully and intuitively when the other person is sharing their emotions. At times, you may sense the Spirit’s nudging to give a gentle invitation. “Would you like to share more about that?”
- Professional Coaching. At times, it is also appropriate to hire a skilled professional coach.
More insights from Leadership Coaching by Tony Stoltzfus…
- “Coaching is practicing the disciplines of believing in people in order to empower them to change.” p. 7.
- “A coach believes that, if you listen intently and intuitively to your clients, they will eventually tell you the answer… Exploration involves listening closely; picking out what most makes you curious; then asking the client to expand on that.” p. 23.
- “I believe the biggest reason Christians in general experience so little transformation in their lives is that they ignore the Bible’s relational mandate for how to effect change. We were never meant to live the Christian life alone. Christianity is an interdependent, community-oriented faith… Coaching puts change back into the context of a learning community, where God always intended for it to be.” p. 29.
- “The great move of God inside the church in our times has been the explosive, worldwide unleashing of the laity to do ministry… I believe coaching is a primary strategy God is raising up to meet the leadership needs of this generation. If what God is doing in these days is empowering and unleashing people, we need leaders with potent new tools to raise others up and the radical belief in them to unleash them to pursue their destinies. That’s the power of coaching.” p. 46.
- “God initiates change. That means God was at work in this person’s life before a coach ever came on the scene, and He is actively leveraging every circumstance in the person’s life to bring him or her to maturity. It’s the Holy Spirit’s job to convict people and speak to them about what they need to be doing, and use life circumstances to motivate them to change… When you believe that God is already at work in a person’s life, it follows that the one who has the best handle on God’s change agenda is that person. Therefore, the most dependable way to get in line with what God is doing is to let the client set the agenda.” p. 116.
- As always, watch the video and read the post with the Coach. Pay attention (there’s that phrase again!) to the key ideas that He highlights for you. Dialogue with Him in your journal.
- Informal coaching. Who are the people in your life who do the best job of listening deeply to your heart? Reflect on what they do that makes you feel really heard. Tell them how much you appreciate what they do. How would you evaluate your skill at asking meaningful questions and listening with gentle curiosity in every day conversations?
- Intentional coaching. Look for an opportunity to practice this. First, look for an opportunity to ask someone else to coach you. (“I feel like I need some help on this issue. Would you be willing to coach me on it?” Note: you may need to explain what coaching is.) Second, look for an opportunity to offer coaching to someone. (“Would you like some coaching on that issue?”) See what you learn in both cases.
- Professional coaching. Have you ever worked with a professional coach? If so, what was that experience like? How would you know if this was something you might benefit from?
- A culture of coaching. What would it be like if there was a “culture of coaching” in your house church? What would be necessary for that to occur? What would be the benefits?
- Share what you are learning about coaching with your CO2 partner, your house church, your Leader Team. Also, if you resonate with these ideas send this post to a friend and post the link on Facebook.