Monday, April 06, 2015

What is coaching?

I've been having a hard time coming up with an answer for: What do you mean by coaching? The Coaching Agreement is perhaps the best overall description, but I'm not sure how good it is as an "elevator speech." So... I read through 'Coaching For Christian Leaders' again last night and noted these spots...

From the introduction, p. 1:
Life is a story of improvement. The holy Christian writings attest that a central theme of existence is the movement toward better. Genesis starts with God's initial improvement project of order over chaos, with each day unfolding a new and better aspect of God's creation. Revelation and other texts refer to an 'end' that is really a new and better beginning. Between genesis and ultimate renewal, each Christ-follower is striving to live a story of improvement - always moving toward fuller connection with God, better community with others, clearer expression of vocation, healthier habits of the heart, more effective use of time, and even improved performance of hobbies and leisure activities.

The believer's God-ordained improvement story doesn't always go that well. An individual gets lazy, runs up against obstacles, or sometimes becomes confused about which way to go and what to do. To reach full potential, a believer might need some help.

From p. 2:
[Coaching is] An art and science of supporting people's forward movements... and is impacting families, Fortune 500 companies, ministries, organizations, schools, and government agencies.

**From p. 9 (the "original definition"):
A hundred years ago, a coach was a transport vehicle, as commonly remembered in the story of Cinderella. Riding in a coach meant that a person would be moved from one point to another. In Webster's Dictionary the first definition of coach is, 'A large, covered, four-wheeled carriage used as a conveyance, with seats for passengers inside and an open raised seat in front for the driver: stagecoach.'

Today, coaching is similar. Coaching is still about forward movement and action. A coach, however, is no longer a physical vehicle like a car. A coach is a person who facilitates actions that transport people from one place to another, from where they are to a new destination...

...It's about taking intentional action, moving forward, and improving performance. By nature, coaches desire to help people improve, change, recognize and use their strengths and talents, and be successful.

From p. 69 (in regard to requests for information about coaching - be brief and clear):
Coaching is different from consulting or therapy. Coaching starts with where you are and focuses on where you want to go. It is not about the past or what has transpired to this point. It is always focused on taking intentional action.

From p. 94:
Coaching is about caring for a person's future. Counseling looks to the past to find healing. Chaplaincy looks toward heaven to find truth for here and now. Consulting looks to the pastor as an expert to solve problems and answer questions. Coaching is distinctive in that it looks upward (to God), inward (to one's self as impacted by the indwelling of God's Spirit), and forward (to where God is leading) to find direction for tomorrow.

**From p. 111:
I guess I already wrote a post about p. 111 and the idea of a "soul friend" or "spiritual friend." Let me sum up in my own words with this...
Coaching is a lot like being a good friend. A coach is someone who will listen intently to you, ask specific questions of you, help you move forward intentionally, and acknowledge action and next steps.

So... there's some stuff.