I’m thrilled to welcome today’s blogger Jill Williams, a certified professional coach and speaker for our free video series Asking Powerful Questions. I asked Jill to help us understand how leaders benefit from coaching.
Coaching is useful for everyone.
In general, working with a coach catalyzes personal growth and development. Coaching conversations over the phone, in person or on video conference involve discussing how you want to work and live. They confirm your wants truly align with your values and beliefs. And then, the conversations creatively and realistically explore how is it possible for you to get there, if at all. And the coach doesn’t tell you what to do, the coach facilitates a conversation with you to enable you to discover this for yourself.
In my experience talking with others about coaching, I find two primary groups of people: people who have experienced and understand coaching and people who haven’t and don’t. Because coaching is most understood through experience, it can be difficult to understand until you actually work with a coach. Let me explain three reasons for Christian leaders to work with a coach using three core principles of coaching that have surfaced for me as a certified, professional coach.
Principle #1: Coaching conversations are all about your focus.
Coaching conversations help you discover clarity and gain focus. You see more clearly the things that matter to you, allowing you to take more confident and authentic action. Coaching shines a light on the things you already know you need, value or believe, but for some reason are hidden inside. Bringing these things to the surface allows you to go after the right things at the right pace, for you.
Principle #2: Coaching conversations are all about your fuel.
What I mean by fuel is what you need to go after what you want. Leaders can feel isolated and lonely and all too busy. Coaching conversations provide a safe and encouraging space for you to confidentially meet with a professional to talk openly and honestly about your strengths and weaknesses, your struggles and your successes, without fear of bias, judgment or exposure. Coaching conversations distinctly allow you to process through what you already have that you may be neglecting to use and what you may need to develop in order for you to continue to be fueled up for God’s call on your life.
Finally, Principle #3: Coaching conversations are all about your fight.
We are in battle. I know it very well. I’m sure you do, too. For me, the battle rages in my mind and in my emotions. It is as much an internal battle as it is external. So, when I say coaching is all about your fight, I mean that coaching is committed to your intentionally taking action toward how you want to be living your life. Coaching conversations help you discover resilience to fight confidently and positively for the things that matter to you in our continuously disruptive world.
Conversations alone are a balm to us. Being known by others and discovering we aren’t alone eases our insecurities. We need such conversations. And coaching conversations are such conversations. But they are inherently more. They are all about your focus and being fueled up to fight to take action in faith, to do according to Hebrews 10 by holding fast to the confession of your hope, stirring up others to love and good works and not shrinking back. This leads not only to confident rest deep in your soul and personal transformation and growth in Christ, but also to multiplying such living with others and in others.
Bottom line, coaching conversations lead you to experience optimal performance, and rest. As a Christian leader according to Hebrews 10, I think of optimal performance as stirring up one another to love and good works. Hebrews 10 suggests that our rest increases when we orient ourselves rightly with truth, holding fast to our hope in Christ, to the new and living way that he opened for us. Coaching is all about aligning ourselves with truth and taking action from these places. And it is about stirring up others to do the same.
When we do this, we flounder less, and we embrace our leadership circles more.
I recently asked my clients how they would describe their coaching experience with me. Here are a few of their responses:
“Purposeful. A Blessing. Meaningful. Needed by many who don’t know or won’t admit they need it!”
“A consulting approach to help executives balance the high demand and intersection of personal and professional commitments.”
“An incredible tool to help one get from point A to point B.”
“Heart felt, warm, discerning, Jill has a way of seeing beyond the worry presented and getting to the heart of the matter.”
Getting to the heart of the matter, to a place of optimal leadership performance and rest starts with intention. And for the Christian leader, coaching conversations can be a very useful, intentional place to start. They are certainly useful for finding focus, fuel and fight for all the right things in a world that offers us plenty of opportunity to otherwise just go with the flow.
Let’s fight together.
If you are able, I encourage you to find a trusted coach you can connect with and discover coaching for yourself.
Learn more or follow up with Jill Williams, ACC, at SpringsCoaching.com or Jill.Williams@springscoaching.com.