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Want to Know How to Begin Coaching? Start Walking In Your Coach Calling Today.


Transcript from the Christian Life Coach Collective Podcast: 

Episode #4



How you can take your first steps into coaching 


So maybe you've been coaching already and maybe this will be a refresher. Maybe it'll be some new tips or tools for you. But for those of you who are just considering becoming a coach you're looking into it or you just want to know how to do the very first thing in coaching without necessarily spending a bunch of money on starting a business and getting trained and certified and doing all of these things until you know that it's something you would enjoy doing.


Now, the only thing I love more than training is learning. My husband and I built a training and certification program for crisis and disaster relief responders way back in 2007. Today we have around 11,000 trained responders. The graduation part of the course is nice and everybody gets a certificate, but the best part is the equipping, the transformation, and the releasing of those people to do what God's called them to. It's not the paper, the seal, or the ceremonial applause. It's the camaraderie of the journey and the rigor of the course, the doing hard things together aspect of it all that makes them go home changed and passionate. Then they go on deployment with a desire to serve and love well, and now what we call our family is changing the world and bringing hope. They're equipped and released to touch lives that are experiencing some of the darkest, hardest, most terrible moments ever, and it's really beautiful. 


If you said to me that you wanted to get trained to respond to a crisis, I'd first suggest that you start with your daily responses to the people in front of you, the ones at work, at the school, across the street, and, more specifically, the ones in your house.A crisiss is relative and it's interpreted and reacted to differently by everyone. Are you helping the one that God put in front of you, or are you thinking the only way that you want to respond or help people is to go to strangers across the country or around the world? If that's the case, you may want to rethink your calling. After 15 years of building, training and conferences, retreats, and programs, I have a lot of information, but I also have a wonderful dream in my heart that it's equipped me to know how to turn around and equip and release Christian life coaches, almost in the same way that we started our training program for responders. 


My heart has turned in the past decade towards helping coaches be trained and released with strong foundations, having lots of tools in your tool belt. 


Today's episode is about what I recommend you do. If you're just beginning the journey into your coach calling, I want you to start with the one that's in front of you. Don't wait until you have a website, a certificate, somebody's approval, or even a plan. Go ask somebody to have coffee with you who seems like they could use a helping hand or a listening ear. You just invite somebody who's a few steps behind you in some area to come spend the day with you and learn from you while you're operating, just on a daily or at your best. 


Take heed of the scripture to listen first, speak and learn last, and control your emotional reactions. These are the things that will help you get comfortable coaching more quickly. If you're already practicing asking the right questions instead of giving directions on how to copy you, well, you're putting Legos in your pocket to help build later. 


So I took a long time to start an actual business in coaching. I was in full-time ministry for 10 years or so before even having the dream of Sterling and Stone in my heart. Then I took another five years of walking in it and dreaming it and talking to the Lord about it  before I even filed a business name with the state. I built my own website without any money for somebody's professional services, just to get a feel for what I wanted, and what I didn't want.


I learned about my voice in making things consumable and along the way I was always coaching in my house, in ministry, in a lobby, at conferences I actually paid to go to, at lunches, on walks, everywhere. It naturally came out of me and now I even ask friends what hat do you want me to wear in this conversation? So I know if they're looking for Coach Laura or Friend Laura, and sometimes it goes from they want Friend Laura to needing Coach Laura somewhere in the conversation. 


So here's how I recommend that you practice coaching sessions, even if it looks more like mentoring, discipleship, or even just in your house with your kids, if you can just find some people who would like to spend an hour with you for the mutual benefit of both of you, and this is the flow that you would go with.


 Some of you already coach and have your way, but I'm laying this out for those who've never coached or been coached so you can see how simple it is. You can even write this out and follow it while you're on a Zoom call or even face-to-face with somebody. It's very natural to take notes while you're coaching so you can capture things that you feel rise up in the conversation, things you want to ask questions about. Writing it down helps you to not interrupt the client or the person in front of you with what you're thinking. You can just take a note and come back around to it later without forgetting. 


So if you haven't already, when you sit down with somebody or connect with them, take the first five minutes to open up with just some interesting conversation, questions, and curiosity. If you're more comfortable with just how's the weather, then go with that. But over time I recommend that you turn your questions and the information you give into things that bring more connection. “So tell me the best part of your week so far.”  Or Hey, what's it like being the mom of twins?”


Just pull on the little things you do know about them. “What's the best part of your week so far?” Their response, regardless of how good their week has been is going to help you see the tone and the natural feeling that they are coming into this conversation with and you get insight at the same time that you're breaking the ice.


Then you're going to move into a question like “What's on your mind for today”, or “Tell me what kind of results you're looking to achieve in our time together”. 


Oftentimes people don't even really know and they need some time to verbalize things and work through their thoughts. So you stay quiet while you mirror them. That  just means to let them see themselves reflected on your face and in your small responses. For example, if they seem excited, give your face a little bit of a lift. If they seem concerned, let your eyebrows furrow a little bit. Let them know that you're hearing and you're reflecting what you hear, and that's called mirroring. It's helpful in every relationship. 


I can then ask leading questions like, ”Tell me more about that” and,” interesting”, “What's kept you from achieving that up to this point”? And then let that conversation go on and let them talk it out for 10 to 15 minutes while you take notes. 


Following this, you're simply gonna ask Holy Spirit to give you the right questions, and the wisdom you need, and show you how to pray. It's that simple, because there are a ton of tools and strategies to use and, of course, all of your knowledge and experience.


But remember first and foremost that coaching is about what the client needs at an individual level, and nobody knows what they need better than the Lord


You might even wanna ask what kind of help they think they need. Use the types of coaching in episode three to help outline that for them. So, are they looking for pastoral care, personal mentoring, a very clear strategy and steps, and different possible ways to go forward ideas? Ask them what they think would help them achieve the kind of results they say they want. 


Now one of the simplest tools you can use is to help them see what are their true goals. This means helping them understand that if something is their true goal, they will know it because they can see efforts to move toward it. For example, if they want a better connection with a spouse, a parent, or a child, are they trying to become a better communicator? Are those the types of prayers they're praying and books they're reading? Are they trying to connect to the person by finding out what that person needs or thinking about how they can spend more time with them. If they wanna take a trip to Spain and spend a month hiking the Camino de Santiago, are they learning basic Spanish and preparing for what they need to be hiking the mountains? 


If they aren't doing the things that lead them to the goal they have stated, then their stated goal isn't their true goal. This is where their eyes open a bit and they might just question you or defend themselves or say well, what I meant was… but just gently guide them through what actions they're taking or what inaction they've settled into. If their stated goal is a connection, but their inaction shows that they continue to withdraw in their relationship, then their true goal might be comfort or apathy, or even fear.


Questions like “What do you think is keeping you from taking action” and “What small steps can you take that would make connection your true goal”? If they aren't learning Spanish, looking at flights, and considering what to pack, then a hiking trip is not their goal. It's just a wish, a dream, or a future possibility. Simply moving that from one place in their mind to another will help them then have time to identify what they truly need to focus on. So you ask what do you think your true goals need to be in this season. If we move this trip out of the way because it's not your true goal, then what do you need to be focusing on? This will help them get clear about what they want and then close some of the tabs that are open in their brain browser. 


One of the best ways to understand this process of true goals is to determine your own. 


If you're wanting to become a coach, what would you say? Your stated and true goals are? What are you taking action on? Where are you stuck in inaction and what do you need to let go of so that the decision fatigue is lessened in your life? What voices do you need to stop listening to so you can clear your mind and set a course? If this podcast is an extra voice in your life, don't listen to it. If you're supposed to be focused on cultivating your family life and not starting a business, go listen to voices that lead you that way. 


Our consumer culture has so many possibilities out there that you must become more aware and self-govern all the things that are distracting you from your true goals. That means unsubscribing to all the craziness in your inbox. Unfollow the podcasts and the influencers and the posters who shouldn't even have a say in your life in the first place, and put away the books and shows that keep you from being fulfilled and productive. 


True goals are always associated with forward action.


 Stated goals are just thoughts that are taking up space and they need to be categorized in the later or never section of our thoughts. People need to process through this and whiteboard a little, and, as their coach, you're the expert question asker and whiteboarder. Sometimes the true goal is not a healthy one, yet somebody might be on track to achieving it. So that's where your discernment comes in, and knowing how to ask the right question can help them. “So, do you feel this goal will help or hinder you?” “Will it help or hinder others?” “What does accomplishing this goal gain you and what kind of legacy does this create in your life?”


If your legacy is a compilation of the daily results that you're creating, help them see from another perspective and be able to process through anything that might not be a healthy goal to reach. 


Sometimes as a Coach you might think, what if this is actually going to hinder them or hinder their family or their business? Something instead of helping them. It is not for you to decide that, but it is your responsibility as a coach to ask guiding questions and help the client see for themselves, take initiative, take ownership, and make the changes for them personally. 


If, after your session, you see that they are truly pursuing a true goal, then you can help them lay out a map of where they are, create a vision statement of where they're going, and walk them through what they think are the right next steps to getting there. Determining if any of the steps they consider are out of order. Do they clearly lead to the true goal? Who and what else do they need to accomplish the goal and how? Do they feel they need to pray or ask for prayer? If that applies in this, if that applies to your coaching relationship, you can wrap up the hour with a summary of what they've become aware of and accomplished. Then you can ask them if they'd like to meet again.


 If you want to, you can also ask them for feedback about your time together. That's going to be one of the best ways for you to have an assessment of your abilities at the time. 


A coaching session is really this simple at its foundation. I highly encourage you to start practicing it. Do it with permission, though. Don't just start coaching somebody without their input and their desire. Go seek out the ones who want guidance and help and ask God to send them to you, because he's happy to connect, helping hands with the people who need them. 


I also want to invite you to the new Facebook group Christian Life Coach Collective. It's a place for us, as coaches, to connect, learn from each other process, and pray for each other. And also for people who are interested in becoming a Christian Life Coach, it's a great place for them to be able to connect and discover more about that calling. So I invite you to that, and the link will be in the show notes below.


You can also book a private coaching clarity session with me over at sterlingandstonementoring.com, and that link is in the show notes as well. 


I have so enjoyed being your guide today. Hopefully, I was able to give you some equipping and releasing, so I bless you. To begin here, I release you to take imperfect action and I give you permission to start walking out your calling as a coach. 




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