In some way, most of us love to learn even when we resist (hate) being taught. Experience tells me that we are designed to grow continually. Because of what I do for a living, I might be more inclined to seek examples of inspiration than many. But, isn’t it encouraging when we see examples of people who have overcome challenges or achieve a major life goal. I am especially energized when I see people advanced in years who still possess a healthy appetite for growth. It persuades me to be a person who grows through life and doesn’t just go through life.
Whether we are acute or chronic growth-seekers, there is nothing more empowering than the belief of others. Today is Day 3 of 3 in my series about the value of hiring a proper professional coach. Among all the value that a coach adds it is their belief in your potential that tops the list. John Whitmore was one of the pioneers of the executive coaching movement and he put it this way,
“Coaching is unlocking a person’s potential to maximize their growth.”
Here are a few other key beliefs that a proper coach holds about you.
- Believing in you is imitating how God works change in us.
- You are the steward of your own life and as a leader of your life you take responsibility for your own growth.
- You are a uniquely designed individual and have your own map of the world and it is to be respected.
- Your map (and ours too) is NOT the territory.
- You grow through authentic relationships and a learning community.
- You can learn from life and be transformed through evaluated experience rather than through information alone.
- You are responsible for your behavior but you are not your behavior.
- You can change your behavior as needed to serve others, yourself, and your goals better. The more flexible your behavior the greater influence you have on others.
- You are not an un-resourceful person but you may be in an un-resourceful state.
- There is no failure in your life, only feedback.
Here is how a coach differs from other professional with whom you can partner for growth. All are valuable in the right context, but all are not equal in their methodology or appropriateness to the specific conditions and circumstances of your life. Here is a simplified comparison.
A consultant comes to you as the expert in your field/profession they share what made them successful. A coach does NOT need to be an expert in your field to help you be more successful in your field. A coach needs to be an expert in the coaching process and the principles of success.
A counselor provides therapy/healing for hurting people and uses the past for diagnosis and treatment. A coach provides structure, support, encouragement and accountability to empower healthy people to grow. A coach focuses on the present and future and uses the past only as context.
A mentor advises you on your situation based on their experience. A coachdraws on your own resourcefulness to find answers and solutions from within. Pastor and coach Dale Stoll put it this way,
“Mentoring is imparting to you what God has given me; coaching is drawing out of you what God has put in you.”
Finally, a trainer is teaching by sharing information or helping you apply a procedure. A coach helps uncover the enterprises that exist and are unfolding within you by serving as a thinking partner who helps you focus on aligning your resourcefulness for the success you desire.
Dr. Gary Collins, author of Christian Coaching said,
“Coaching is the art and practice of guiding a person or a group from where they are toward the greater competence and fulfillment that they desire.”
It can be hard to see the picture when you are in the frame. Perhaps the greatest value a coach provides is higher awareness. Coaches help make the unconscious conscious. A coach is a powerful and empowering partner for your success and greater significance.