“Coaching” is a current business and ministry buzzword and there is a lot to question about it.
First – a quick definition of the kind of coaching we are talking about here is in order.
Simply put: Coaching is a means of forward movement from a certain ‘here’ to a certain ‘there’.
The confusion lies in the “means”. There are two popular methods of coaching. One is where the “Coach” talks a person or team through a particular method or plan for forward movement. In this method the Coach is in charge of the pathway and pace. Personally I think a more descriptive word for this kind of coaching is consulting, but many reputable ministries offer “coaching” to do things their way.
In this first type of coaching the Coach has been trained in “running the maze” and will help you through in the ways that others have successfully made it through themselves.
The second kind of coaching is completely different.
Coaching in this arena is completely Coachee (person being coached) driven. It assumes there are different priorities and unique goals for each individual in each different season in their life. In this method the Coach is skilled in active listening and asking powerful questions to draw out those unique goals and pathways for forward movement that are specific to the individual.
God has designed life so that every successful pathway is personal and unique!
He is jealous for us to be connected to Him and not to a program.
But can we trust that kind of coaching?
What if the person being coaching doesn’t “get it” like we do?
Last week I promised I would give you ideas for what to do with your stellar ideas for how the people you are helping should handle their lives. But first –
Here’s two problems with telling people what to do. You might be right and you might not be.
If you are right you have taught the person that they need to come to you, or some wise leader, to know what to do with their lives.
So, what’s going to happen next time. You got it – they are going to come back. This can really backfire on you and here’s as few reasons why:
- You have given them a fish instead of teaching them how to fish. (They need to learn to fish on their own.)
- It’s infantizing. You are in essence saying that you “get things” and thereby implying that they don’t, or at least not yet.
- Mediation is not Biblical. They ARE able to hear from God – the same Holy Spirit dwells in them that is leading you. Now, that doesn’t mean they won’t have to practice hearing to get things right, but you probably aren’t 10 for 10 either right?
- You cap your leadership potential when everyone who wants to move forward needs to chat with you first- they can only move forward then if they can get an appointment with you. You only have so many hours, so you can only help so many people.
- It’s weighty to have to decide things for people. It’s not yours to have to carry. “Each one should carry their own load.” Gal. 6:5
- What if you are wrong the next time! Do you really want to bear the load of someone having to live with consequences of the pathway that you chose for them?
Coaching offers a better way to help people help people move forward!
God is moving in them as much as He is moving in you! He wants a personal relationship with each us and when we help someone connect with Him personally it changes everything!
What if instead of telling people what to do you just asked them what they they thought they should do OR offered your amazing answers simply as possible ideas?
I know that sounds simplistic but is a complete culture shift for most leaders. And it can be very releasing both for the coach and the coachee!!
So, what should you do with that stellar idea for what the other person should do?
Well, you might just have something there, but the art of influence is in the offer!!
When I say influence I don’t mean your ability to get them to do what you want, what you think is best or what worked for someone else, but rather that you are helping them learn to move from where they are toward where they feel they need to go.
That would sound something like this:
“I’m wondering if ______ would be a good idea.” or
“What would it look like if you________ (insert stellar idea here)?”
The art is in the offer being truly with an open hand and a true question of whether your thoughts would be good in this situation.
Can you trust coaching? Well, I don’t know, can you trust the Holy Spirit to work in others?