If I don't know anything about a subject or event, I usually ignore it, even if the subject matter kind of piques my interest. I can't tell you how many times I've missed out on a good thing because I didn't take the next step in getting answers to my questions.
We have found that coaching is just one of those subjects that people don't know much about. Even though we have been talking about it within our District for quite a while now, it hasn't drawn much interest, especially from individuals who might benefit greatly from a coach. Why is that? Maybe we haven't given out enough information or information is hard to find. Maybe you haven't the time and energy it would take to find out more about coaching. Whatever the reasons, asking questions and getting answers are well worth both our time and effort. Here are our most asked questions about coaching:
What is coaching?
Coaching is the "art and practice of enabling individuals and groups to move from where they are to where God wants them to be...a coach leaves each person being coached with increased self-confidence, clearer direction, and greater fulfillment than he or she would have had otherwise. Coaching helps people expand their vision, build their confidence, unlock their potential, increase their skills, and take practical steps towards their goals.
"Unlike counseling or therapy, coaching is less threatening, less concerned about problem solving, and more inclined to help people reach their potentials." (Dr. Gary Collins, Christian Coaching: Helping Others Turn Potential into Reality)
As Christian life coaches, we include the Holy Spirit in the coaching process to give insight and discernment. In partnering with the Holy Spirit, we join with His transformational work in our client's lives.
How much does it cost?
Fees for coaching are negotiable between the coach and the client. SMD Coaching Network recommends $25 per hour if the coach has less than 100 coach training hours; $50 per hour if the coach has 100 or more coach training hours. Coaching fees can be paid by a bartering exchange, can be given pro bono, and can be as low as the price of a cup of coffee.
How much time does it take?
A coach can create a package of sessions, set up an ongoing schedule of sessions, or contract on an as-needed basis. Usually a session is one hour. The coach and client make an agreement on number of sessions, how and when to meet, cost, and expectations before starting the actual coaching.
What happens in coaching?
The coach builds a relationship with the client, listening and asking powerful questions that require more than a yes or no answer; provides confidentiality, and a plan of accountability and support to the client.
The client sets the agenda, decides the purpose, the direction, and the outcome. From the questions, the client gains new perspectives and possibilities that lead to action steps. The client ends the coaching relationship feeling hopeful, accomplished and resolved.
Still have questions? Talk to us at SMD Coaching Network. We will listen and help you find a coach.
There's so much more to coaching than just time and money. Whatever the life issue, coaching clients hold a deep desire for more fulfilling, God-honoring growth in their lives. Coaching is an intentional investment that will help you to think differently and live and minister with greater purpose.
Lisa Harris is Network Coordinator for the SMD Coaching Network and has been coaching for 3 years.
"CALVIN! YOU BIG DUMMY!” I can still hear those words from my Junior High baseball coach being shouted across the field after I dropped an easily thrown ball from our shortstop to me, the first baseman. It wasn’t a positive day for me.
So, you can imagine the thoughts running through my mind when it was presented for me to become a “coach”. Although I knew I would never yell at anyone, I still imagined sitting down with someone, getting a gist of their need, and then proceeding to tell them from my “wealth of knowledge” and “infinite wisdom” how they could solve their problem or head in the right direction. This perception couldn’t have been further from reality than a polar bear in the jungle.
“…I discovered very quickly
that the kind of coaching we were discussing
was not about TALKING but LISTENING.”
As I began the training process, I discovered very quickly that the kind of coaching we were discussing was not about TALKING but LISTENING. We were continually reminded to be “an active listener”. This type of listening required hearing them not only with my ears, but also with my mind, which was displayed through my body language, eye contact, and limited verbal interaction.
The goal was to ask intentional, thought-provoking questions to allow the client to “self-discover” what they needed to do about the issue at hand. Since every coaching session is ALWAYS about the client, they set the agenda for the session and not the coach. It was difficult in the beginning not to get in “counseling” mode by telling the person being coached what I thought they should do in a particular situation. I, also found out that the awkward silence after me asking a tough question to help them self-discover, was not a bad thing and that I had to let the person process and think before they were comfortable responding.
The coaching training that I received through the SMD Coaching Network has made me rethink how I respond to people in everyday situations. The preacher in me continually wants to “tell” them what they should do and this needs to happen in some situations. The coach in me, however, now wants them to find this out on their own. The process of being a coach has strengthened my listening skills which is what many are really wanting and needing. People from all walks of life and backgrounds just want someone to listen to them! So even if I never become a coach with lots of clients, the listening element of coaching has, and will continue to benefit my ministry to people by really “hearing” what they are trying to say.
If you are considering becoming a coach, I would strongly encourage you to invest in yourself and give it a try. Whether you are in full-time ministry or not, becoming a coach will sharpen your relational engagement with people- which is what it’s all about!
By Joel A. Oliver, ACC, CCLC
Blog post written originally for Christian Coaching Magazine, Fall 2016, used with permission.