The lifestyle of a coach is a widely-overlooked part of being a coach. Your life is the reservoir you draw from when you work with others. Coaching is the art of drawing things out of people; and it’s hard to draw out of others if you haven’t dug your own well and learned to draw deeply from it.
Proverbs 20:5 says, “The purpose in a man’s mind is like deep water; but a man of understanding will draw it out.” That understanding comes from your own life experience. For instance, many people come to a coach to get perspective on their circumstances. How will you help them gain a life-changing attitude adjustment unless you’ve paid the price to seek out new perspective in your own difficult places? Great coaching is drawn out of the well of a great life – the lifestyle of a coach.
The Lifestyle of a Coach: Fully Engaged with Life
The Lifestyle of a coach is about being fully, highly engaged with life—not just accumulating knowledge or information to share with others. Coaches are people who help others live life at a higher level. To do that requires that you live a significant, growing, purposeful, heart-engaged life.
One way you do that is to meet God and allow him to shape you through your circumstances. If you consistently find the purposes of God in what is happening to you, and lean into them, the people you coach will too. Living at a high level means cultivating deep relationships, giving and receiving genuine feedback, loving and grieving, and going out of your way to find personal wholeness. To the degree that you are needy or are still grasping for something you don’t have in life, you’ll work out that neediness on those you coach.
The Lifestyle of a Coach: Walking in Wholeness
Telling others what to do instead of listening to them and fixing people are symptoms of neediness: we fix because we need to be fixers, not because people need to be fixed. When you are needy, what you do always seems to end up being about you. Coaching, on the other hand, is consistently, relentlessly being all about the other person. Only people who have a high degree of wholeness are truly free to be about others and not all about themselves.
Even though coaching is a non-directive discipline, it is as true as ever that the primary thing you have to give to others in ministry is what Christ has done in you. Great coaching springs out of fully embracing the work of God in your own life. Those who have embraced his work in themselves — the lifestyle of a coach — are best at helping others to embrace it as well.
Tony Stoltzfus is an author, leadership coach, master coach trainer and executive director of Leadership Metaformation. For more information on Tony’s best-selling coaching books go to www.coach22.com. For Tony’s training schedule, go to www.coachingworkshops.net