My daughter returned from a trip to a country store with a loaf of artisanal Italian bread baked with thyme and sundried tomatoes. Spread thickly with yellow farm butter it was a feast all on its own.
A well-known coach calls questions the bread and butter tools of a coach, so a coach asking questions is like baking artisanal bread and spreading it thick with farm butter to present to the client in an appetizing manner.
Coaching Christian Women
Stressed, overcommitted, over responsible, and out of control of their time and resources, women in the church are in great need of discipleship coaching.
I see these women regularly trying to balance the finances, balance their lifestyle, balance their work-life, balance their home and family and still have some ‘me’ time all with some discipleship or spiritual transformation thrown in there somewhere too.
A woman benefits from coaching for spiritual transformation, and if she will take the time to enter this accountability relationship, she will discover growth.
I only have to look at Proverbs 31 to see a woman who has balanced her time, her strength and her abilities and is successfully growing from the inside out. King Lemuel says of her, “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised” (Prov 31:30, ESV).
In coaching women in the church we need to ask powerful questions, questions that provoke enquiry, make them think deeply about their lives, their motives, their desires, their future, and their spirituality.
Questions in the Scriptures
What is the most powerful question you have ever been asked?
Did it make you stop in your tracks and think more deeply?
What if you had never been asked that question?
God asks deep, penetrating questions because he wants us to think. God’s first question in the Bible to Adam, is, “Where are you?” (Gen 3:9, ESV), which made it impossible for Adam to ignore his sin or continue to hide it.
He had to expose his condition and thus make the move to restoration of relationship with God.
Job begs God for answers and God asks him questions, in fact, the longest list of questions in the Bible is in Job 38 and 39, provoking enquiry about what Job’s belief system is and bringing Job back to the responsibility for his own life.
As coaches we believe our clients have the answers to their own lives. These answers may be buried so deep inside; it takes more than a spade to dig down through the layers of soil to find the treasure.
Powerful questions can be like drilling for oil.
As you go down, you will eventually hit the precious stuff!
“You can tell a man is clever by his answers. You can tell a man is wise by his questions” (Naguib Mahfouz).
Wisdom for a coach is refraining from advice giving and moving to powerful, probing questions that provoke enquiry on the part of the client and curiosity on the part of the coach.
I spoke about artisanal bread, because this is baked on a small scale and needs an artisan, a craftsperson to lovingly hand form and bake each loaf. Just so, there is an art to forming questions that make people think, make them stop in their tracks and think deeply.
This is what coaching is all about.
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