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

 

Leadership Transitions

Transitions are like delivering a baby; difficult for a while but when the baby arrives it’s the cutest thing you have ever seen! They are also difficult because something dies or closes for something new to give birth and there are so many unknowns in the process. Solomon describes the paradox of life this way “there is a right time for everything under the sun – a time to be born; a time to die; a time to plant; a time to harvest, a time to destroy, a time to rebuild’ (Ecc 3, TLB). For every season of our lives there is a beginning and there is an end. However, Jesus comforts us with these words from Matthew 6 “your heavenly Father already knows perfectly well what you need and he will give them to you if you give Him first place in your life and live as he wants you to. So don’t be anxious about tomorrow. God will take care of your tomorrow too. Live one day at a time” (TLB).

 For many of us, as we move through various stages of our lives, we reach junctions – TollBooths2points of transition. Some challenges require us to rise to the occasion – they will either become tollbooths we progress through or roadblocks.The price to go through the tollbooth might be a tough decision we must make, or a situation we must leave behind; it may mean a class we must take, or a job we must quit. We must calibrate our expectations, manage disappointments, and be realistic about the speed and ease of our lives. The best solution then, is to learn adaptability. We must balance how we possess expectations, but also realize that a wonderful gift may not be wrapped as we expect.” ~ Dr. Tim Elmore – Habitudes for the Journey

If we are pliable in God’s hand – yielded to His will, His thoughts and His ways, then we become more flexible – more adaptable to times of transition and change and, as a result we grow in our dependence on the Holy Spirit. Reminds me of this paraphrase of Matthew 11:6 “blessed is he who does not get offended at [how I choose to operate My kingdom on this earth]” (paraphrase by Virgina Young). Recently, our Corporate Training Team went through a major transition which was painful but I had to rest in the fact that God had everything under control and He had each one’s best interest at heart. We all had to spend significant amount of time with the Lord as we contemplated the next season. God is good and He is faithful to perfect the good work He started in us.

It is with mixed emotions of sadness, and yet excitement, that we say goodbye to Karissa Corpeny and Andrew Chalmers who served our emerging leaders and staff for 8 years and 4 years respectively. Karissa moved on to start her own consulting business and Andrew started Take the City as a non-profit organization. Please keep them in prayer in their new endeavors. Dustin Nance is now the Divisional Leader in charge of Training which means ELP will merge with the Emerging Leaders College. There is a creative team that will be assessing the structure of ELP and looking for ways to provide more role-specific training for Teen Challenge staff. We look forward to see what God births in this new season.

Some coaching questions to ask as you go through a transition:

How am I balancing my expectations with reality?

Am I in a season of giving birth or closure?

What do I see when I assess the speed and ease of my life?

What are the themes that are consistent when God is preparing me for a transition?

Articled submitted by: Andree Aiken – ELP Leader/Coach