Proverbs 20:5 states, “The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out” (NIV). Private coaching coupled with group coaching in a mastermind forum creates an ideal environment in which to draw out those purposes of a leader’s heart.
The International Coach Federation (ICF) defines coaching as “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.”
Executive coaches partner with leaders to increase their emotional intelligence – their self-awareness and self-management. Coming to know themselves better, leaders are then able to utilize themselves more effectively in the day-to-day challenges of the marketplace, as well as on the home front.
Many people confuse coaching with consulting or mentoring, or even counseling and discipling. All of these are valuable for leadership growth, but none of them brings the inside-out value of professional-grade coaching.
Consultants, mentors, counselors and disciplers offer advice or guidance – an ‘outside-in’ approach to growth. Critical information and insight is lacking within leaders and is therefore provided by others who have that expertise.
In contrast, coaches know that there is a great deal of strength and insight, as well as vision and capability, that rests within every leader but these are often cloaked or hidden from their fully-conscious awareness. Skilled coaches therefore facilitate an exploratory discovery process, based largely upon questions rather than advice, and they draw out those things from within the leaders themselves – an ‘inside-out’ approach to growth.
We all know the experience of verbally processing a challenge with a loved one or colleague and suddenly exclaiming, “I really needed to hear myself say that!” As a result of sharing with someone who is invested in us, we discover an awareness, an insight, a ‘knowing’ that suddenly brings clarity to the challenge we are facing.
That experience is often immediately coupled with an awareness of what we must do, and even with conviction and certainly about the rightness of that path. We understand more fully than we likely would have if someone had tried to impart that advice to us from their own perspective or experience. We also likely have much greater investment or ‘buy-in’ to acting upon that awareness because it came from within us.
This is the power of leadership coaching, and it’s why surveys report that as many as 40% of Fortune 500 companies are now utilizing executive coaches with their key leaders. Results include increased productivity and profitability, reduced costs, improved quality, greater customer satisfaction, organizational health, and higher employee retention.
When coupled with benefits on the home front including better relationships with spouses and children, greater physical health, improved financial management and deepened spiritual growth, it’s clear why leaders increasing cite coaching as key in their commitment to ongoing growth.
To learn more about the Convene coaching platform, just click here. You will find a variety of executive coaches that can meet with you in person or online.
About the Author
Often cited as ‘The Father of Christian Coaching’, Chris is a visionary thought leader who pioneered this field in the late 1990’s through journal articles, conferences, keynotes, and as a founding board member of both the Christian Coaches Network and Christian Coaching Magazine.