How I Want to Be as I Coach

Being precedes doing.

What I do flows directly out of who I am. This is true when I am coaching. Therefore, I find it important to pay attention to my “being” and not just what I’m “doing” while I am coaching leaders.

Reading Bobby Clinton’s book, The Making of a Leader, reinforced this truth to me:

“Effective spiritual ministry flows out of being, and God is concerned with our being.”

Coaching well requires my ongoing development of both character and competency. This is foundational. What I do is clearly a reflection of who I am. For me, this means that my awareness of who I am being while engaged in a coaching conversation must be heightened so that I am not overly focused on techniques or skills.

One way that I’ve worked to develop in the area of my “being” is to consider how I want to be as I coach. I ask myself, “What are the character qualities that I want to exhibit in my coaching behaviors?” After identifying specific qualities of “being” – I then focus my attention on what it will take to actually grow in those areas and to embody those qualities.

Qualities of Being: How I Want to Be as I Coach

1. Fully Present – I chose to be focused and engaged with my client. I intentionally remove distractions so that my mind and being are devoted to the client’s agenda. I bring all of who I am to each appointment.

2. Curious – I choose to be interested in the client and what is being discovered in our conversation. I don’t expect a predetermined outcome, but rather wait for the “aha” moments and seek to be spontaneous as we co-create together.

3. Authentic – I choose to be genuine and real. I am not a poser or a faker. I bring myself, my experience and flaws and success, into every conversation. It’s not about me – but I realize that who we are is how we coach.

4. Humble – I choose to set aside my ego and the idea that I’m right about what my client needs to think or do next. I choose to serve my clients agenda and pursue the outcome determined by them. I want to embody a posture that says, “I’m not the expert here to offer you my advice.” Instead, I recognize that they are the only expert on their life and situation and I humbly embrace my role to assist their discovery.

5. Positive – I choose to embrace the most uplifting and encouraging mindset I can. There is enough negativity and critics in the world. I am not hired as a coach to hold anyone back. I choose to believe in my client and to help them find the path to attain their goals.

6. Confident – I choose to embody a “can do” attitude and perspective. I expect my coaching conversations to raise my client’s awareness and to result in forward motion. I don’t need to have all the answers but I am certain that the answers that are most needed will be found. I am confident in my client, the coaching process, and my ability to guide the conversation through active listening, powerful questions, direct communication, creating awareness, and designing actions.

7. Flexible – I choose to “dance in the moment” with my client. I will not portray that my ideas or my ways are the only option. I will seek to explore together a variety of courses before asking the client to commit to specific action. I will resist any temptation to start telling the client what to do. We will remain open to not knowing and embrace discovery together.

When I embody these qualities as I coach and demonstrate that I am fully present, curious, authentic, humble, positive, confident and flexible, I know that our coaching conversations will be effective – because “effective ministry flows out of being.”

In my preparation for a coaching appointment, I often review these qualities and consider how I will demonstrate them with my client. I picture myself embodying each of these qualities. I imagine the impact that being “_________________” (i.e., fully present) will have on my client.

Developing Your Sense of “Being”

If you’d like to grow in this area of “being” – I’d recommend the following:

1. Reflect on a deeper level asking the question: “How do I really want to be as I coach?” List 5-7 qualities you want to embody.

2. Imagine what exhibiting these qualities in your next coaching conversation will feel like, look like, or even sound like for you personally, as well as for your client.

3. Increase your awareness of how each of these qualities will benefit you and your client. Realize that your sense of “being” will be perceived by your client and affects the outcome of the conversation.

4. After your appointment, take some time to reflect on both how you were “being” and what you were “doing.” (Self-Reflection: W-I-N)

Reflective “Being” Questions:

1. What qualities of being did I embody?
2. What qualities of being were not present?
3. How will I choose to be in the next conversation?

Reflective “Doing” Questions:

1. What did I do well?
2. What could I improve?
3. What will I do next time?

Before your next coaching conversation, consider writing on the palm of your hand one quality of being that you will choose to embody. Remain conscious of that specific quality throughout the appointment.

It’s easy to evaluate and focus on what you need to DO better in the next appointment. There are plenty of training programs and teleclasses and books that will help you develop your coaching skills and competencies.

Don’t forget to take the time to work on how you want to BE as you coach. Your clients will sense the difference as you grow in your sense of being.

(More ideas on How to Prepare for a Coaching Appointment and Creating a Learning Environment)

Today’s Missional Challenge

How will you focus on the development of who you are (qualities of being) and not just what you do (skills)?

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Author

Dave DeVries

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Dr. Dave DeVries is a coach, trainer, author and founder of Missional Challenge. He is passionate about coaching and training church planters and missional leaders. With 30+ years of church planting and leadership development experience, Dave brings his passion and encouragement to those he trains and coaches.
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