3 Key Ingredients of a Coaching Conversation

Allowing our graduates to walk out their freedom in Christ while at Teen Challenge is necessary to prepare them to live successful Christian lives after TC. When a student first enters the program we tell them what to do because they are a new babe in Christ. As they become spiritually mature, we give them more responsibility to make decisions with the help of the Holy Spirit. This is key to helping our graduates transition back to society as productive citizens and where coaching is especially helpful in the discipleship process.

Being led by the Holy Spirit to ask the right questions at the right time of the right person

Two people having a conversation

Two people having a conversation

will help them develop the critical thinking skills necessary to adjust to life after TC. This will require several coaching conversations. A coaching conversation has three key ingredients which will move the person forward:

  1. Explores – connect with the students where they are at. Talk about the things they want to talk about. This is the student’s time to explore what’s inside of them and to have a simple conversation that will help them dream about the possibilities for their future.
  2. Excites – Get excited about  the things they are excited about. Excitement or joy is contagious and fires up the brain to create. If you are excited about their future, they are excited too and they will believe it’s possible to create. A joyful heart is good medicine.
  3. Exhorts – Be an Encourager – a Barnabas. Along the way, the student will meet upon obstacles which may prevent them from becoming who God created them to be. Your role is to encourage them to live from a stance of victory and not defeat. Encourage them to turn the trials into opportunities.

I have found that the best coaching conversations are in the moment – as you go about daily life on campus. You can draw out so much more when you are in a relaxed environment. Listen and watch for the moment to coach and ask these powerful questions:

What is here that you want to explore?
How does this fit with your plans and values?
What are you willing to do to accomplish this?
What support will you need along the way?
What is your desired outcome?

Article Submitted by: Andree Aiken, ELP Leader/Coach, TC Southeast

 

Organizational Health is more felt than telt

Sometimes we get so caught up in the mundane activities we forget to step away from our desk and meet people where they are at. Recently I was at a conference where Simon Sinek talked about “eye ball” leadership – getting up from your desk and going where busy-office-workerspeople are at and look them in the eyes. Really what he was saying is – build relationship with your team. You can’t expect people to work hard for you if they don’t know you. Notice I said work hard – they’ll work for you but they won’t work “hard.” Years ago while working in the airline industry, we did a training on customer service. We only had about 30 seconds to a minute to check in a passenger but during that time we had to get to know them and make the process as personal as possible so they would fly with us again. If we go through such lengths to build relationship with the people who spend their monies with us, how much more we should put into knowing the people who are working with us for decades and some, a lifetime. People want to feel they are accepted, they are loved and they are making a difference. The single most important factor to the success of your team and the overall organization is having authentic relationship with the people you work with.

Simon says “If we set the environment right, trust and cooperation is an automatic response.” ” Leadership is a choice to be responsible for ourselves and the people around us; reinforce the relationship between you and your team members” (Sinek). Leadership requires our two greatest commodity – time and energy. It will take energy to get away from the task at hand to roam the halls to find out how people are doing and to bless them – to offer a word of encouragement or simply to say “thank you.” The best decision you can make every day as a leader is to add value to people. Let them know that you care, you believe in them and you believe they can succeed. Organizational health is more felt than telt.

Article submitted by: Andree Aiken (Training team)

WHAT COACHING HAS DONE FOR ME

Angela Hastings

“Nothing is more appropriate than getting excited when God does something in our lives.” ~ Beth Moore

I find it interesting that the last time I posted on my blog was in August. But I don’t find it coincidental. I won’t even blame it on the busyness. It has to do with the fact that God has been doing a major revamping in my life and in my heart. Most of you know that in August, I started life coach training. Part of that training was meeting with one of our instructors for personal coaching. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the concept of Christian life coaching, it’s helping someone discover what God is doing in their lives and helping them to cooperate with Him. What I realized personally, was coaching provided the optimal environment for change. I don’t think we ever really even talked about the big thing that I wanted/needed to change in my life more than once. But over the course of six sessions in 4 months, God changed my heart and my attitude about the thing that was giving me the most trouble. Having an open door to deep, meaningful, intentional conversation and relationship, without the fear of being judged, with the freedom to make mistakes, and with the accountability to take action on what God is telling me to do made a HUGE impact on my life.

You know how scientists tell us that the earth is exactly the right distance from the Sun, and it’s at the exact right tilt so that there can be be life on earth? The conditions are perfect, even though right now some of you would beg to differ because your weather is a little inclement. But ultimately we thrive because of our environment. Coaching is like that perfect environment for thriving. Even now God is giving me a reminder of the sweet babies in Romania that were left all alone in their cribs and failed to thrive. It’s because they lacked relationships. It’s because they didn’t have the love and support they needed to grow. Now, I know that meaningful relationships are not limited to the field of coaching, but I also know that in our chaotic, busy lives, we rarely take the time, energy, and effort to get real and to let others get real.

People, God is at work; He is speaking to us. But if we don’t wake up and do something about it, we are going to miss out. We are not intended to walk through this life alone. And we definitely do not grow best on our own. We are meant to share life together. We are meant to challenge one another. We are meant to confess our faults to one another and to say “This is where I’m really struggling. Please pray for me; I want to change.” We are meant to take what God is saying to us and do something about it. There’s nothing magical about coaching. But it forced me to ask the questions:

What is God doing in my life?
What is God saying to me?
And what am I going to do about it?

And then,  I did it! No, God did it! God did something in my life. And He wants to do something in yours also.

Written by Angela Hastings (ELP REP Hosanna House TC, Jacksonville, FL) 

 lovingjesusmore.blogspot.com

Healthy Culture – A Life of the Spirit

Essential to having healthy sons and daughters is the notion that we should have healthy parents and a healthy environment to grow in. Today, fewer children can say they grew up in a healthy environment with parents who are loving, caring and attentive to their needs. In the Cross & the Switchblade, David Wilkerson describes the culture and his envisioned future for the Teen Challenge Center (C & S, p. 129):

     “The Teen Challenge Center would be located in the heart of the roughest part of the city. It would be headquarters for a dozen or more full-time workers who shared my hopes for the young people around us, who saw their wonderful potential, and their tragic waste.Kevin & Sandy with girls2 Each worker would be a specialist: one would work with boys from the gangs, another with boys who were addicted to drugs; another would work with parents, another with Little People. There, in the Teen Challenge Center, we would create an atmosphere that was so charged with this same renewing love I had watched on the streets, that to walk inside would be to know that something exciting was afoot. They would live in an atmosphere of discipline and affection. They would participate in our worship and in our study. They would watch Christians living together, working together; and they would be put to work themselves. It would be where they were prepared for the life of the Spirit.

To sum up the TC culture – it is an environment preparing our sons and daughters to live the life of the Spirit. When Wilkerson awoke from his first night at Rev. Ortez’ home, he said ” the next  morning I spent in prayer; what was going to happen now, I could not imagine, but I wanted to hold myself as flexible as possible, ready to step out in whatever direction the Holy Spirit should point” (C & S, p. 77). This is the life of the Spirit.

The Life of the Spirit is one spent in prayer –  talking to God, listening to Him and meditating on His Word. Prayer is the work. “I had long ago discovered that too much running around, without a base of quiet meditation, produces little value” (C&S, p. 143).

How can you slow the pace at your center to allow everyone time for prayer, reading the Word and meditation?

The Life of the Spirit is one that is flexible – listening to the Holy Spirit and being open to…well just about anything. “We were driving slowly along when suddenly I had the most incredible feeling that I should get out of the car. “I’ll be back in a while, Miles; I don’t even know what it is I’m looking for.” “Hey Davie. Preacher!” A group of six teen age boys were leaning against the side of a building.” If you want to meet the gangs, why don’t you start right here?” (C&S, p. 28-30).

You don’t need to know what you are looking for necessarily, only – “where is God leading me right now?”

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The Life of the Spirit is one of action – demonstrating the power of our faith by acting out our belief. We believe God for the miraculous. “I decided to take a first step toward making my dream come true” (p. 64). “I would speak to these boys, trusting the Holy Spirit to reach them where I could not” ( C &S, p.65).

Ask yourself “how can I partner with God and be a vessel for the miraculous?” What are some indicators that you are producing sons and daughters prepared for the life of the Spirit?

“A strong working culture helps to create satisfied people who feel cared for, trusted and respected, which increases engagement and ultimately leads to better productivity.”

~ Ken Blanchard (Ken Blanchard Companies)