Blog Post: Coaching Brings Growth

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Coaches get into coaching for all kinds of reasons. Some see it as a way to make a living.  Others like conversations.  Many of the coaches we train at Coach Approach Ministries genuinely love helping others, and they feel called by God to coaching as a way to support growth and positive change.

Earlier this year I was so struck by the growth in some of my clients and impressed by stories I heard from coaches in the CAM community that I decided to write a short e-book (yes, another e-book!) on the topic of how coaches help others grow.  In the book, I identified 11 ways clients grow as a result of coaching.  Here’s the summary.

  1. Desires. Coaching supports the setting of new goals, the pursuit of new horizons, and the determination to make dreams reality.  When we help a client grow their desires, we help them clarify what they really want and to be intentional with their direction in life.  Too often people are driven by hidden, unclear, or sub-par desires.
  2. Self-Awareness. People who lack self-awareness can be challenging.  Never is this more true than when YOU are the person lacking self-awareness.  Coaching helps people grow more aware of how they show up, what they are like, and what fuels them.  Such growth reveals blind spots that have been hindering effectiveness and fruitfulness in the client’s life and work.  It allows the person to do better than operating on auto-pilot and can also help them identify and celebrate strengths and virtues.
  3. Self-Acceptance. When a person lacks self-acceptance, that person is not okay with who they are.  A lack of self-acceptance often leads to unhealthy defensiveness, operating as a people pleaser, or reluctance to step into opportunities and callings.  Coaching helps the client find their foundation in Christ and establish their identity on the unchanging love God has for them.
  4. Agency. Many times, a client is unhappy with the way things are but feels helpless to do much more than describe their dire situation. Some clients have learned helplessness.  Others have never exercised their proactive muscle enough to know that they can make choices and influence outcomes.  Embracing one’s agency also necessitates a ratcheting up of responsibility, shifting from being a victim of others’ choices and choosing to wield power on behalf of self and others.
  5. Assumptions. How one thinks the world operates will greatly determine how one operates in the world.  Our assumptions can hold us back.  Coaching challenges assumptions, tests them, refines them, and upgrades them.  When a client’s assumptions better match reality, they are less frustrated, more empowered, and more likely to create positive change.
  6. Values. When a client lives according to borrowed or subterranean values, they prioritize poorly and can feel as if they are wandering through life or going in circles.  Coaching helps clients grow more aware of their true values and get clear on how they are honoring or dishonoring what is most important to them.  When a client embraces what is truly valuable to him, he is able to make wise and life-giving choices.
  7. Character. No story is great if the characters in the story don’t experience growth.  Our clients are living the story of life, so it makes sense that they have the potential to grow in their character, which is the deepest aspect of who they are.  Many times coaching supports the client as she faces, endures, and overcomes challenges.  And challenges well-faced refine one’s character.
  8. Competence. The client’s journey often takes them into situations for which they do not yet have what it takes.  They fear public speaking.  They struggle to give feedback.  They don’t know how to set boundaries.  They parent poorly.  Coaching grows a person’s competence in whatever area of performance their situation calls for.
  9. Confidence. At least 90% of my clients eventually get to the topic of confidence.  I believe confidence is the dimmer switch on competence, reducing the degree to which the client’s talent, knowledge, skill, and ability can be expressed.  When a client grows more confident, they are willing to let their light shine, able to step up, and ready to take risks that test their competence.
  10. Credibility. In a way similar to self-confidence, the credibility others extend to a client will either draw that client out more fully or create resistance to success and flourishing.  Coaching can support growth in credibility by identifying interferences and removing them.  Credibility can also be gained as the client learns to develop trust with those around her, create and participate in mutual relationships, and adapt to the specific credibility factors of certain situations.
  11. Legacy. When a client grows in the areas mentioned already, their life will be lived with intentionality and power and purpose.  The benefits of such a life extend far beyond the here and now, creating ripples of goodness and a positive residue long after the client has gone – either gone from a particular scene or gone to be with the Lord.

I’m sure there are dozens, if not hundreds, of other ways clients grow as a result of coaching. But these eleven demonstrate the truth: coaching brings about deep, positive change in the lives of those we coach.  As coaches, we are blessed to have the opportunity to join God where he is working in the lives of those we coach.  What an honor to be agents of growth, helping our clients transform into better versions of themselves and to people who more fully reflect the image of their Creator!

Look for my e-book Coaching for Growth: 11 Ways Clients Can Be Their Best.  The book will be available via Kindle on October 18th.

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