What is Coaching?
What comes to mind when you hear the word, Coach? Many people envision an angry person on the sidelines of a sports contest, passionately gesturing to get their players to follow the game plan. A much more helpful definition is found in the original meaning of the term ‘coach’ as simply ‘a vehicle that transports someone from where they are to where they want to go’. Successful people in all walks of life have benefited from having a coach at their side. Imagine talking to a good listener who appreciates where you are going and who you are. Imagine an encourager who believes in you and knows how to draw out of you, your best ideas. Imagine having the undivided attention of a person with whom you can confide, dream big dreams and strategize a plan to reach your life goals. That is a coach.
Questions can be used for a variety of purposes. In some cases, they are blunt instruments designed to bludgeon a person into submission. In other uses, questions are simply information gathering – filling in the blanks on one more form. However, no communication tool is better suited to probing the depths of one’s understanding than a powerful and often profoundly simple question. Coaching wields this one tool with the purpose of unlocking new thinking, creating new pathways around old problems and surmounting mental barriers which prevent a person from fulfilling their potential. The question ‘why’ is discarded because of it’s accusatory tone and emphasis on the past. However, every other avenue of inquiry is used to identify, reject, adopt and transform a client’s thinking into a cogent, well defined decision leading to its supported action steps.
After powerful questions have led to quality decisions, it is time to move forward. ‘Aha’ moments are of little consequence if the insight gained is not followed by action. The goal of coaching for many is clarity; clarity of purpose, clarity of one’s responsibility in a given situation, clarity of a preferred outcome. However, clarity without a step toward what one knows is only sharpened understanding. The ultimate landing spot of coaching is forward movement. We call them action steps, not action leaps, just steps. What one thing or two things can you do today and tomorrow to bring the clarity you have discovered, closer than it was last week or last month?
As a solo entrepreneur, it is priceless to have someone available to help talk through my plans and goals. It helps even more if it is someone who can ask the right questions and understand where I'm coming from. Toby has been a great help to me, both by listening and asking questions that help me think about things from another angle. He also challenges me to ask what's next, and later reminds me about the goals I mention, in that way keeping my feet to the fire, but also giving me freedom to change my mind. Ellen
I have utilized Randal Smith as my professional executive coach for more than two years. Randal provides the support and incisive thought partnering that turn conversations into leverage points for powerful action and achievement. Having an executive coach is by far the most valuable investment in professional growth I have ever made. My leadership has risen to new levels of effectiveness as a result of my commitment to working with Randal as my coach. James, MA.
I’ve seen more progress in my life using coaching than any other method I have tried. I am so glad I gave coaching a try. It has changed my life. Rachel, MA.
I know Brian to be an outstanding coach, having been coached by him on numerous occasions. He is masterful at creating awareness through his coaching presence and has the ability to do deep listening, consistently keeping the ball in the client’s court. Karen, MO.
The coaching I have received from Dave McNaughton has been invaluable as a church planting director and the lead pastor of a growing multi-site church. I always leave a coaching session with more clarity and insight than before. Frank, CA.
Sometimes it just takes an outside perspective to spark an idea, change a pattern, or set a course for more effective ministry! At LifePointe, we have truly been blessed to have that extra nudge that Dave McNaughton brings to the table through his coaching ministry... His ministry background and knowledge of church ministry will be an asset to anyone who is desiring to be challenged to go to the next level of effectiveness in ministry. Cecil, TX.
I stumbled onto coaching one day when talking to Brian about a difficult decision I had to make and I left that first coaching session feeling more hopeful than I’d felt in years. In the space of an hour, I was able to untangle my thoughts and feelings about my problem as well as pinpoint exactly what I wanted and needed to do. I’ve seen more progress in my life using this strategy of help than with any other method I’ve tried. I am so glad I was willing to give coaching a try. It has truly changed my life. Roger, MO.
What I have found most helpful is the role coaching plays in helping you develop a plan to make your vision a reality. Your coach helps you think about the things you hadn’t thought about before AND lets you come up with the ideas and inspiration to carry them out. I would recommend the coaching experience to any pastor. Dan, MA.