A key to effective Life Coaching is this: Coaching clients (I like to call them coachees or partners) have the answers or they can find the answers. I firmly believe that people have their own answers, solutions and next steps inside them. They may not think they do. In fact, they may want someone else to tell them what to do. Often people have an internal bully that repeats lies such as “You don’t have a clue!” or “You’ll never figure this out.” or even “God is disappointed in you.”
Yet when Life Coaches ask powerful questions and help their clients discover who God created them to be and what they really want, then the clients invariably become more resourceful, effective, intentional and committed–not to mention the fact that they’re usually more satisfied when they find their own solutions.
My First Coachee
Lori* (my first coaching client 13 years ago) told me that she didn’t want to die with all her papers, talks, research, and Bible studies piled in files around her. She dreamed of teaching the Bible to women who wouldn’t otherwise hear God’s word. But she felt stuck. Every previous attempt seemed to hit a dead end.
We designed our coaching partnership based on her goals and dreams. With her permission I asked questions, we worked together and she found her own answers. Answers that were inside her, but buried deep. Still she worried that she’d appear selfish if she didn’t take care of everyone else.
Then one day as we were coaching about her current dilemma, she had an “aha”. She had believed she needed to take the family’s elderly dog to their upcoming family reunion, but she really didn’t want that responsibility. She thought her young adult children would be mad at her if she didn’t.
While we brainstormed options, a light bulb flashed on in her head. “Hey, I could board the dog.” She did and no one got angry and she became free. From that day forward her motto was “Board the Dog!” She moved beyond her people-pleasing and fixing ways and in the process gained the time and energy to do what God gifted her to do. She started a radio program, doing 5 minute chats explaining the relevancy of God’s Word to everyday life. She touched thousands of women’s lives with the rich material she had stored in those files. Lori will not die with all those Bible Studies crumpled around her.
What’s your “board the dog” aha today?