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The Journey Is The Destination: Why Coaching Begins with Establishing Agreement

By Admin On March 3, 2017 No Comments

When I get on an airplane, my sole purpose is to get to the destination.  I look for the fastest route possible with the least amount of effort.  In most travel, I don’t believe the journey is the destination.

As coaches, we can treat Establishing the Coaching conversation Agreement like a flight – get it over with as fast as possible and move on to the REAL coaching.  This is a mistake.

Establishing a Coaching Agreement

Many coaches, anxious to help, go with the first thing the client says.  Maybe they ask a clarifying question or two, but Establishing the Coaching Agreement, tends to be a cursory affair.

This is detrimental, since the Coaching Agreement sets the stage for all that will happen in the remainder of the coaching conversation.

It’s pretty safe to say that if you’re not exploring and establishing the coaching conversation agreement for at least 5 minutes, then you’re starting on the wrong track.  A shortened agreement setting stage almost guarantees the topic is problem-focused, external to the client, and not going to be transformative.

An in-depth coaching agreement conversation will result in transformative topics that are by definition internally client-focused.

Here’s an example.  The client wants to talk about time management.  If you settle the coaching agreement on how to manage her schedule, you’re working on an external problem and will likely come up with some how-tos that may or may not help.  But if you explore the client’s relationship to her schedule for a while, you may together discover she has a role in constantly overbooking herself, or she finds it difficult to say no, or she doesn’t want to miss out on any opportunity.  Each of these are internal, client-focused coaching agreements that are more likely to be transformative than scheduling how-tos would be.  If you take the time up front, you can surface these transformative topics from the beginning.

Here’s a 3-step process that will help you and your client establish more meaningful coaching conversation agreements.

  1. Go broad. Ask, What would be most helpful for us to focus on today? Then ask clarifying questions that go beyond informational questions.  Ask evocative questions that focus on the person, not the problem.  What causes you to do that?  What do you gain by not changing?  What are you protecting yourself from?  What are you noticing?
  1. Go interior. Ask, What makes this meaningful for you right now? Draw out their motivations and their emotions around the topic.  Why the urgency now?  What will happen if this doesn’t get solved?  What changes does the client need to make?  What emotions are they experiencing?
  1. Go measurable. Ask, What results would you like to take away from our conversation? Pin down the Outcome to something that can be measured.  Not just, “explore XYZ.”  Make it, “explore why I find it difficult saying no, and create a couple strategies to change it.”

You can see with these questions, Establishing the Coaching Agreement could easily go 5-10 minutes of an hour appointment.  By doing so you’re trading time for depth and meaning.  Coaching doesn’t begin after you have Agreement.  The Agreement setting process is essential coaching.

Join Keith Webb on March 14th at 1pm EST for our Core Insights Series 2017: Establishing a Coaching Agreement. This webinar is free for CCNI Members.

About the author:Keith Webb Keith E. Webb, DMin, PCC is author, speaker, and consultant specializing in leadership development. He is the founder of Creative Results Management, a global training organization focused on helping ministry leaders multiply their impact. For 20 years, Keith lived in Japan, Indonesia, and Singapore where he designed and delivered leadership development programs to leaders around the world.

He is the author of The Reflective Journal for CoachesCoaching in Ministry, and The COACH Model for Christian Leaders. Keith is the immediate past-President of ICF Washington State and lives near Seattle with his wife and their two children. He blogs at keithwebb.com.

A Word of Encouragement from CCNI Board Member Donna Duren

By Admin On March 3, 2017 No Comments

And so I am sure that God, who began this good work in you, will carry it on until it is finished on the Day of Christ Jesus.  Philippians 1:6 Good News Translation (GNT)

Donna DurenIn my coaching business, XtraordinaryLiving.com, I tightly hold to the encouragement penned by the Apostle Paul to the Church at Philippi.  As I begin a client’s journey with me, I am reminded of the verse in Phil 1:6.  In my practice, I primarily work with those who have been impacted by addiction, either their own, or that of a loved one.  My family was one of these who lived with addiction.  Our dependencies were spread across the realm, from drugs, alcohol, prescription medications, work, food and relationships.  Each one played out differently, with one ending tragically in the death of my older brother at the age of 33 to acute alcoholism.  This was the beginning of my own story of recovery, and recognizing the insanity that surrounded me as I grew from a child into adulthood.

My addiction of choice is food and relationships.  As I am sure you can imagine, this works great when you are a born again Christian continually celebrating food in our fellowships.  And, we all know giving everything to everyone else is considered “Godly”.  God had to break me as only He can.  After years of peeling back the onion, I am confident:

“Because of Christ’s redemption, I am a new creation of infinite worth. I am deeply loved, I am completely forgiven, I am fully pleasing. I am totally accepted by God.  I am absolutely complete in Christ. When my performance reflects my true identity in Christ, that reflection is dynamically unique.  There has never been another person like me in the history of mankind nor will there ever be.  God has made me an original, one of a kind, really somebody!” (Search for Significance:  Robert McGee)

This message is how I pray my clients will hear as I engage fully with them, actively listening, affirming what they say and allowing them to peel back the onion of their own life.  It has been my experience working in Recovery ministries for nearly 25 years, that recovering people are sometimes hanging on to their sobriety by their fingernails.  Even though they are clean and sober, they have not grasped the extraordinary life that God has ordained for them.  What a gift it is to know that God is not finished with my client, or with me, that he is allowing me to participate with Him as He continues to do the work in them.

My prayer for all my fellow coaches out there is to not be discouraged.  May you have this hope:  That God who began this good work in you and will carry it on until it is finished on the Day of Jesus Christ.  This day we will all rejoice together in the presence of our King.  Starting each coaching session with this assurance makes such a difference for me, as I pray it does for you.

Allow me to share with you a song by Mercy Me, that sums up my heart for you and for your clients.


About the Author: Donna Duren is a Certified Professional Life Coach along with decades of real life experience.  She attended Word of Life Bible Institute and holds a degree from Cedarville University. Donna’s experience includes working with people around setting healthy boundaries, understanding personality, dealing with food issues, and coping with codependency/relationship issues. In all this, she loves to walk alongside people as they discover their true value in Christ. Donna is currently a CCNI Board Member and Marketing Director.

The Christian Coaches Network International Welcomes New Board Members

By Admin On February 3, 2017 No Comments

The CCNI Board of Directors Welcomes Its Newest Members, Forming Its Largest Board To Date  

CCNI Board of Directors

During January 20-22, 2017, the CCNI Board of Directors met in Orlando, Florida for its second annual board retreat and meeting. The entire CCNI Board was in attendance totaling 10 members; the largest in our history. Board members are pictured above from left to right in top row:  Director, Strategy: Angela J. Herrington, LSCC; Secretary: Mary-Margaret Armstrong, CAE, CMP;  Director, Marketing: Donna Duren, CPLC; President: Kelly E. McClelland, CCMC, CTTCC, CJSS. In the bottom from left to right: President-elect: L. Marie Trotter, PCC, CPLC; Director, Membership: Cathy Lee, ACC, CCC, CPLC; Director, Credentialing: Karen Hendrix, MBA, ACC, CCC; Immediate Past President: Dr. Michael J. Marx, MBA, EdD, PCC; Director, Education Enrichment/Point of Need: Paul D. Olmstead and Treasurer: Karen Kornik, ACC, CPLC. It was a blessing to fellowship and pray in addition to strategize new ideas for 2017.

The CCNI Board of Directors are pleased to announce that the top three initiatives determined at the January strategic planning meeting for 2017 will be:

1. community engagement
2. helping members with client acquisition
3. business building services

Below are introductions from CCNI newest  board members, L. Marie Trotter, Angela J. Herrington, Paul D. Olmstead and Karen Hendrix. Please help us welcome them by commenting on this post!

President-Elect: L. Marie Trotter, PCC, CPLC

President-Elect: L. Marie Trotter, PCC, CPLC

Hello Christian coaching community!

I am a print media expert and Professional Certified Coach (PCC).

I have worked as an editor and writer for over 15 years, and received my coach training in 2009 through Erickson College. I became a PCC through the International Coach Federation in 2014. My coaching niches are author and book development, community and organizational capacity building, communications, and leadership development. I earned a BA in Professional and Technical Writing from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and a MS in Leadership and Ethics from John Brown University.

As followers of Jesus Christ, we have the capacity to be excellent in everything we put our hands to, granted we seek to please God in our efforts. The Lord gave me a tagline for my business, and it really ministers to me. The tagline says, “Life. It’s not about you. But, you can be amazing in it.”

Everything is about God. If we yield to that truth, the Lord can use us in mighty ways. CCNI gives us a platform where we can be amazing in coaching– learning and growing in the field– while also accepting that at the end of the day, it’s not about us. It’s about God and what He chooses to do through us for others. Let’s work together to make 2017 a year we can be proud of together.

Greetings Fellow CCNI Members!

Paul D. Olmstead

Director, Education Enrichment/Point of Need: Paul D. Olmstead

My wife and I are missionaries with New Tribes Mission, and I serve as NTM’s Training Facilitator and Coach for our new and veteran missionaries raising support to go to/back to their field of service.  My wife, Susan, serves as an Administrative Assistant in Personnel.

I am excited to join CCNI’s Board of Directors.  I view it as an excellent opportunity to give back to the CCNI community.  A community that has helped me better understand Coaching in general, and Ministry Coaching specifically over the past three years.

I know the past year has brought some changes to CCNI.  Two of those changes – we are now a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation, and we have expanded our Board of Directors.  I believe both of these will help us better serve each other and our clients in 2017–and years to come.

My role as a CCNI Board Director is to provide educational enrichment opportunities to help us better serve our clients.  I will also be helping to move forward the continued launch and management of our CCNI Point of Need initiative.

What can you expect from me as your Director of Educational Enrichment in 2017:

  • Review and understand what we currently offer (CCEUs, Masterminds, etc.).
  • Serve as Melodee’s backup for facilitating our webinars, and understand our scheduling process, etc.
  • Consider what educational offerings we should continue with, change, do away with, or add for 2018.

We will be seeking your input regarding this later in the year.

  • Consider what we can provide (tools, workshops, etc.) that will help us generate new clients for our coaching businesses this year. We are forming a subcommittee for this initiative.  If you have input or would like to volunteer to serve this year, please email me (paul_olmstead@ntm.org).

Again, I am excited about what the Lord is going to do in and through CCNI, our new Board of Directors, and through you in 2017.  God bless.

Welcome to 2017, CCNI’s most exciting year to date!

Angela J Herrington, LSCC

Director, Strategy: Angela J. Herrington, LSCC

I’m honored to be a part of your leadership team and bring oodles of online business and coaching experience to the organization.

As a full-time life and digital strategy coach for Christian entrepreneurs, I teach coaches, authors, and business owners how to leverage blogging, social media, and tech in their businesses. I help clients create a streamlined system that helps them automate where possible and do more of what they love.

You should also know I’m passionate about spreading Christian encouragement online through social media and blogging. It’s my #1 calling and in addition to my coaching platform, I run two online women’s ministries that do this every day. Each month we reach over 300,000 people in 40+ countries through social media and I love creating a safe place online where women can ask hard questions about life and faith without fear of bullying or isolation. My dream is that CCNI’s online presence will grow into the same type of space for all kinds of Christian coaches.

After spending three days at the annual planning meeting I’m excited to share that we are bringing you new tools, tips, and trainings to help you grow your coaching business. Later this year we will be rolling out some new easy to use member resource pages chock full of free and low cost tools to manage your coaching business. Our website and social media platforms are also getting a makeover to make them easy to use and easy to share with your coaching friends.

As a board member, my 2017 goals are to help you build a sustainable coaching business, leverage our soon to be updated online presence to bring in more members, and to help CCNI become the go to resource for all things Christian coaching.

I’m honored to be a part of this highly talented team and look forward to meeting many of you this year!

Feel free to pop over to my websites or social platforms and say Hello!

Karen Hendrix, MBA, ACC, CCC

Director of Credentialing: Karen Hendrix, MBA, ACC, CCC

Karen believes that each one of us is placed on this planet with God given gifts, personalities, core values as well as life and educational experiences that allows us to bring something to the world that no other individual can bring. She believes it is our joy and our duty to explore what that uniqueness is and to serve for the betterment of humanity by sharing our uniqueness. One way I contribute is by teaching and mentoring new coaches as they have the opportunity to go out and reach others. As a human being, she contributes by affirming and empowering others to live in alignment with their purpose.



Indeed, it is an exciting year for CCNI! Please leave a comment below to welcome our newest board members or to let us know what you think about our direction for 2017.

Coaching Presence – What’s It All About?

By Admin On February 3, 2017 No Comments

Most of us remember with fondness those teachers who made a positive impact on us (and maybe more teachers who didn’t!). For me in Year 11, it was my Science teacher who encouraged me to keep going after an epic fail in my Geology mock exam. His teaching style, different than most at that time, was discovery oriented and coupled with his belief in my ability to succeed, encouraged me to persevere. He wrote the most humane and encouraging end of year report of all time, securing my loyalty and determination. He was also rather cool and drove a smart, racing green sports car!

Later, whilst in a challenging role as Head of Science in an overseas school, my new Head Teacher noted my struggle, recognised elements of self-doubt and issued me an open invitation: visit and talk anytime Lisa, my door is open always. Really. And it was. And I did. She had a presence and way of being which was unique. She wasn’t a dynamic speaker, she didn’t have a vibrant, extrovert personality and she wasn’t cool or hip: instead she was genuine to the core, with an authentic way of being treating everyone as people of intrinsic worth, dignity and value.

teacherWhat is it about such educators that leads to this positive and lasting impact?  Many appear to have some of the qualities Goleman refers to as emotional intelligence: empathy, communication and self-control.

They usually prefer to be the catalyst in others’ lives and often have that precious and rare attribute humility which is evocative and powerful to move others forward. There’s a high degree of respect for each person, of affirming others contributions and of desiring to unlock potential.

The International Coach Federation’s (ICF) coaching competency Coaching Presence highlights these people as “being fully conscious and creating spontaneous relationships… employing a style that is open, flexible and confident” and which Carl Rogers refers to as a “way of being” of the coach. Whilst trusting the coaching process and regarding the coachee as creative, resourceful and whole are crucial components of good coaching, “presence” and a “way of being” of the coach can be more effective in moving people towards their goals.

And then of course we know the wonderful presence of Emmanuel: God with us. As believers in Christ, led by the Holy Spirit, we are full of His Presence and bring Him to our coaching interactions. Leaning into Him we can discern His direction and pray for our clients. In His presence is fullness of joy!

As a Mentor Coach to new coaches I often say: stop doing coaching and start being a coach. It’s hard to explain the difference but once experienced it’s a way of growing ourselves and our coachees too. So, is this presence taught or caught? Is it learned or innate? Some coaches have that natural ability to ‘be’ a coach rather than ‘do’ coaching more than others. Regardless, it is an attribute worth spending time on developing and as teacher coaches we have opportunities to explore more and ask ourselves:

  • How can we learn from those coaches who have this coaching presence or way of being?
  • How might it promote coaching interventions in our schools?
  • What can we do to better to understand how we are perceived by others?
  • How might you bring His presence more fully into your coaching conversations?
  • What might God be asking of you as a coach this year?

Lisa’s Challenge: What is one thing you can do this week to move into a place of being rather than doing coaching in your organisation?

Lisa Face, Christian CoachAbout the Author – Lisa Face of Lisa Face Coaching: Lisa’s coaching services include: professional coach training, leadership and career transition support via workshops, group coaching and one to one coaching. She is an ICF Certified Coach specialising in Christian Life and Leadership Coaching and a Board Director with UK ICF. Her heart is to use coaching to support leaders and professionals across diverse sectors, including Christian leaders, to equip them to lead and serve from a solid foundation and in so doing help grow the kingdom of God through their workplace ministries.
Learn more www.lisaface.com or email:lisafacecoach@gmail.com

REFERENCES: Core Competencies, https://coachfederation.org/files/FileDownloads/CoreCompetencies.pdf
Rogers, C (1995) A Way of Being, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 1995 (reprint 1980)

Helping Our Clients Find God’s Purpose: ICF Competency #8 Creating Awareness

By Admin On February 3, 2017 No Comments

Creating Awareness—Ability to integrate and accurately evaluate multiple sources of information and to make interpretations that help the client to gain awareness and thereby achieve agreed-upon results. (ICF Competencies)

One of the things I like most about being a Christian coach is the freedom to apply our faith within our coaching.  I prefer to view the world through the lens of Scripture.  I especially enjoy thinking of how the ICF competencies align with my Biblical worldview.  One way that I explore how that is possible is to do word study around the keywords of each competency.

In this brief article I will share some thoughts I gleaned about creating awareness.

Creating made me think of a key verse for Christian coaches, Eph 2:10 NKJV.

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

This verse reminds me that each individual is uniquely created by God, our Creator.  We are his workmanship.  The New Living Translation translates that phrase as, “For we are God’s masterpiece.”  What can we do to help our clients think of themselves in that new light?

It is also clear that each of us is created for a purpose; good works that God made ready for us to accomplish.  As this thought rolled around in my brain, the Holy Spirit stirred up questions,

What are those good works that are prepared for me?  How will I accomplish them?  What are the ways God created me to do this?”

This questioning marks the beginning of a desire to become aware of our God-given talents, abilities, strengths, experiences and the important way God has planned our walk!  As a Christian coach, I want to fan that desire to become aware.  I want to be a partner and help clients fulfill their unique calling.

When I looked up the word translated aware and how it is used in the Bible, I focused mainly on the New Testament usage.  Depending on your favorite translation and verse, that word is usually ginosko in the Greek.  Here’s a challenge to you… drill down in Strong’s and Vine’s New Testament Words and plumb the depth of meaning around that word ginosko.

I found several verses which show how Jesus was aware of His surroundings and even the thoughts and intentions of others.  Wow!  Help clients become more aware of the world and people around them as that can lead to greater insights, growth, and impact.  Believers must strive to be like Christ and He was aware!

In your private devotional times, in this coming year, I want to encourage you to work through the ICF Competencies.  Take on one per month, ponder the words and apply a Biblical worldview.  Find Scripture with the help of the Holy Spirit and your favorite online tools and apps!  See what God shows you about how to inspire your clients with encouragement and edifying Christian coaching as you apply your faith to your sessions.  Enjoy the journey!

Kelly E. McClellandAbout the Author: Kelly E. McClelland is the current president of the Christian Coaches Network International.  In November 2010, Kelly launched Transition Time Coach, LLC  based in Orlando, Florida. There he focuses on helping missionaries, ministers and ministry staffers navigate life and career transitions. His passion is helping believers discover who God created them to be so they can live out their unique calling and purpose with the help of the Holy Spirit. Kelly is a Certified Career Management Coach, Certified Tough Transition Coach, and Certified Job Search Strategist.

Be Salt, Christian Coach

By Admin On January 9, 2017 No Comments

Matthew 5:13 (NIV) “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.”

Salt of the earth

Did you know that Sodium Chloride (NaCl) is found in every cell of the human body? Literally salt is part of you. Jesus said “You are the salt of the earth.”  There is no should, could, or ought. It is a state of being; a description of your Christianity if you will.

You can have more salt than your body needs for about three dollars per year. However, at the time of Jesus, salt was a precious commodity. A Roman soldier was often paid in salt. The Latin word is sal, which is the basis for the English word salary.  A legionnaire who was not performing all his duties was said to not be worth his salt. A popular saying among the Romans at the time was “Nil sole et sale utilius.” There is nothing more useful than sun (i.e. light) and salt.

Salt is a stable compound. NaCl does not lose its saltiness over time. The only way salt becomes less salty is when it becomes contaminated with impurities. In Israel at the time of Jesus, a lot of the usable salt came from the Dead Sea, also known as the Salt Sea. In places where the NaCl became mixed with impurities, the salt became useless. It still looked like salt, but lacked the flavor. Such look-alike salt was thrown on the pathways to harden the ground and rid the walkways of weeds. It was also applied to gypsum flooring to harden it, thus keeping it from flaking or chipping.

Good ethics is like salt. It adds to the possibilities, it makes things more palatable, and it stings open wounds.

What are some ways to lose one’s salt?

  • Staying silent when we should speak up
  • Going with the flow, instead of making a stand
  • Ignoring the needs of others

Be salt, Christian coach.

About the author: Michael J. Marx, EdD is the Founder of Blazing New Trails Coaching. He is a sought-after business and life coach for those who want to explore new directions. Michael’s purpose is to be a catalyst and his greatest joy is seeing people move from having a stalled life to a dynamic one. Michael holds the Professional Certified Coach credential (ICF), the Professional Certified Christian Coach credential (CCNI) as well as being a Certified Professional Life Coach (PCCI). He brings more than two decades of experience in teaching, coaching, and mentoring in an international arena. Michael is also the current president of the Christian Coaches Network International and serves as the leader of the International Coaching Federation (ICF) Ethics Community of Practice. In 2016 he published his book, Ethics and Risk Management for Christian Coaches. He lives at 8162 feet in the mountains of Colorado with his wife Joy and a dozen sled dogs.

What Do You Want For Your Faith in 2017?

By Admin On January 9, 2017 No Comments

Happy New Year 2017
A new year is upon us and many of us are creating business and marketing plans for the year.  Some of you may not be “into” creating these documents but, hopefully, you are thinking about them.

It is important to decide what you want from 2017.  What you want for your business.  What you want for your family.  What you want for your life.  What you want may be exciting, overwhelming, or downright scary.  In fact, it may seem to you that these “wants” are all three!

However, this is not what this article is about.  Far from it.

Rather, the question is how much time have you spent creating or thinking about what you want FOR YOUR FAITH this year?  Has your Bible study come to a standstill?  Have you stopped helping out at church because you just can’t seem to find the time?  Is your prayer life faltering?

I want to pray more in 2017.

You’re not alone.  So many people become so absorbed and fixated on their businesses, personal challenges, and the chaos of daily life that their faith begins to suffer . . . and sometimes they don’t even realize it.

It’s time to take stock of what is happening in your Christian walk.  To ask yourself, what do I really want for my faith this year?  What can I do this year to strengthen and revitalize my faith?  In what areas do I need to concentrate?

If you haven’t been thinking about these things, maybe it’s time to sit down and quietly contemplate your relationship with the Lord.  If you do, maybe the Holy Spirit will help you out with a few suggestions.

What DO you want for your faith this year?

Melodee ClaassenAbout the Author: Melodee Claassen After the death of her husband, Melodee was a bit adrift until the Holy Spirit prompted her to “look into” this thing called life coaching. Wondering if life coaching would be a fit for working with other widows and widowers who had lost spouses, she was pleasantly surprised to find that life coaching would indeed be a wonderful conduit for working with those who had suffered a great loss. Melodee is now a Certified Christian Grief Coach (CCGC) and works mainly with Christian baby boomers who are grieving. Melodee also supports Christian coaches in her position as Operations Manager for Christian Coaches Network International (CCNI).

New Pricing Change for the Christian Coaches Network Intl Events

By Admin On December 9, 2016 No Comments

CCNI Events Pricing Change, Effective January 1, 2017

As of January 1, 2017, CCNI is changing the pricing associated with its monthly events.  These will still be FREE for members, but the continuing education certificate fee will be $20 for the events approved by CCNI, ICF, or CCE-Global for continuing education units.  Non-members will pay $30 to attend a monthly event and the certificate fee for each event will be $20 for events approved for continuing education units.


If you are a member and are unable to attend an event, rest assured that you will be able to view the recording in the Members’ Only area of the CCNI website.  If you are not a member, please be sure that you will be able to attend the event as you will not be able to view the recording and there is no refund of fees paid.

Also, we will soon offer a “replay” opportunity for obtaining continuing education units for CCNI members.  This means that if you are a CCNI member and are unable to attend an event, you will view the recording and complete a brief quiz.  Once graded, you can receive your certificate for the event.  Please note that not all events are approved by ICF or CCE-Global for continuing education units.  Be sure to check the event listing to determine if continuing education units apply.

Begin your Christian coaching career with CCNI

If you are a non-member, please note that it is much more beneficial and cost efficient to become a CCNI member, rather than paying for individual events.  For the cost of the Professional Membership (equivalent to two monthly events for non-members), you can become a CCNI member and attend all monthly events for FREE.  This is a great way to increase your coaching skills, learn ways to build your coaching business, and work toward your credential renewal requirements for CCNI, ICF, or CCE-Global.  As a CCNI member, you are also able to attend monthly mastermind groups at no cost.  Where else can you do this?

To become a member, please complete the application and pay the annual fee of $99, plus a one-time administration fee of $40.

To learn more, please contact Melodee Claassen, CCNI Operations Manager.

Listening Heart to Heart

By Admin On December 9, 2016 No Comments

One of our main functions as a life coach is to listen to our clients.  But listening is about a lot more than just hearing what someone is saying.

Listening Heart to Heart in Coaching

To truly listen, one must listen with their heart, not just their ears.  And listen for the speaker’s heart, not just their words.  Which is why “active listening” is one of the International Coaching Federation (ICF)’s Professional Coaching Core Competencies.  In order to be considered competent in this area, a coach must be able to focus not only on what the client is saying, but also on what they are not saying.  That means interpreting their body language and tone of voice, as well as the feelings, perceptions and beliefs behind their words.

The coaching relationship is co-equal and co-active, and while 80% of the talking that means 80% of the listening is by the coach!  So, in the 20% of the conversation, the coach is affirming our client, summarizing, paraphrasing, and mirroring back what our client is saying.  We do this to support our client’s journey into a deeper awareness.  After all, it is all about the client.

As coaches, it is also our job to help the clients get to the “bottom line.”  By listening to the feelings and the beliefs behind the words, you can help your client sort through a lot of ideas and thoughts and narrow them down to the heart of the matter.

But perhaps the most important part of active listening is to help our clients make progress.  By listening to what the client is saying, as well as the meaning of what they’re saying in relation to their overall goals, we can help them to stay on track with their own goals and agenda, not ours.

Active listening is not just our responsibility as a life coach though.  It is also our responsibility as believers.

If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame.”  -Proverbs 18:13
So, next time you are in session with a client, make sure you’re not just hearing them… make sure you are actually listening.

How do you know when you are actively listening to your client heart-to-heart?

Janice LaVore-Fletcher, PCC, CPCC, CMC is Founder and President of Christian Coach Institute and has a passion for helping coaches become confident, competent, and courageous coaches who are well prepared to step out boldly to do the work they feel GOD is calling them to do.  She is the Master Coach Trainer and her Certified Professional Life Coach course is accredited by ICF for 80 ICF Coach Specific Training hours and includes 5 ICF Group Mentor Hours.  Janice is also a Certified Mentor Coach, a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach and a commissioned Stephen Minister.  She shares years of knowledge and experience with her students.  Learn more about courses offered at www.ChristianCoachInstitute.com.

What is Christian Coaching…exactly?

By Admin On November 4, 2016 No Comments

I’m often asked this question. Twice this week in fact! The last time from Margaret Austin who kindly stopped by my table for a friendly chat as I was having a ‘cuppa’ in the church café last week.  

When YOU think of the word ‘coaching’ or ‘coach’ what springs to mind? A sport’s coach, a counsellor or a mentor of some kind? Or maybe you think of an advisor, a teacher or a consultant? Unless you’ve been coached yourself you might be wondering what coaching is all about and if it’s of any value to you. Coaching is a profession in the same way teaching is one, yet it’s hard to define clearly and often confused with other support systems such as consulting and mentoring. 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, which is particularly important in today’s uncertain and complex environment.

Well that being said, what does it really mean? Whilst I’ve highlighted the key words in the ICF’s definition above, I hope my humorous bicycle analogy might give you a clearer picture. Feel free to contact me (lisa@lisaface.com) to let me know either way!

Riding a bike

Imagine you want to learn to ride a bicycle and you want to compare the roles of five professionals: a consultant, a teacher, a therapist, a mentor and a coach. I’ve described briefly how each role might approach your challenge:

The Consultant (or Adviser) gives you the benefit of her expertise and experience. She determines which bike suits you best, creates a smart report with step-by-step instructions on how to ride the bike correctly and tells you which actions to do to improve your performance. In contrast a Coach won’t advise you.

The Teacher (or Instructor) tells you how your bike works and the importance of bike and road safety. He tells you how to ride your bike and how to solve problems such as mending punctures:  a Coach won’t try to solve your problems.

The Therapist or Counsellor asks you: what are your past experiences of bike riding and why have chosen this particular bicycle? Have you fallen off a bike in the past and if so how did it make you feel? He helps you evaluate the past with the aim of ‘healing’ taking place:  a Coach won’t try to ‘heal’ you.

A Mentor takes your bicycle, shares his experience and he shows you how to ride it the same way they learned how to ride their bike. They then ride their own bike alongside you, telling you what to do and informing you when you’re doing it “wrong” and telling you how to do it correctly:  a Coach doesn’t share her experiences.  

So what does a Coach do? A Coach doesn’t talk too much or try to fix your problem. In keeping with the bike analogy, she encourages you to get on your bike, run alongside as YOU determine the best way for you to learn to ride, check with you the direction in which you want to go (or when you want to get off!) and remind you to consider options such as varying your speed or admiring the view. Her firm yet gentle hand on your back reminds you to focus forward in the direction you’re going and not to look back. You get to take it at your own pace and to choose your direction.

Proverbs 20.5

This bike analogy doesn’t hold 100% true but hopefully you have a clearer picture. Proverbs 20:5 describes coaching far more succinctly than I have here: “Counsel in the heart of a man is like deep water but a man (or woman!) will draw it out”. Nicely said – 3000 years ago!

And as for the Christian piece: this is the exciting part of coaching for me! The Holy Spirit is part of the relationship and He is invited into the conversation. As we meet there’s a three-way partnership between Coach, Client and the Holy Spirit. Practically it may take the form of praying at the beginning of the coaching conversation, referencing Scripture to support the topic or challenge being discussed or spending time on a particular Scripture verse. When a client reflects on a question or a verse, I ask the Holy Spirit to help that person to see what He would have them see, learn, think or where to take action. It’s been my experience both as a professional coach and being coached myself that rather than giving advice, asking questions and ‘staying in the question’ longer, draws out what the Holy Spirit has put in.

Jesus says to us today: “Follow me”: like the early disciples, you never quite know where He will take you, a bit like getting onto a train headed for ‘Destination Unknown’! Thankfully He does know and as we become more confident to “walk by faith and not by sight”, we grow in trusting Him to take us there safely even if the journey is bumpy along the way. Coaching, simply put, supports you on that journey.

Coaching Christian Leaders: It’s my experience, that many Christian leaders, entrepreneurs, teachers, vicars, doctors, church leaders, business owners for example, often feel unprepared for the shifting landscape in today’s world. They find themselves poorly equipped to lead others from a place of confidence and competence, doubt their ability or their calling and become discouraged. As one of my clients, a business director, said at the beginning of her coaching journey: I feel overwhelmed, overworked, isolated and alone and wondering how to lead others better. I’m just looking for some hope that it’ll get better. It did!

Some final questions to share: God called me to be a Coach, what might He be calling YOU to do? What does it mean for you to HOLD TRUE to your faith amidst challenges in this fast moving and uncertain world we face?  What might God be stirring in your heart as we approach the last quarter of 2016?

Lisa Face, Christian CoachAbout the Author – Lisa Face of Lisa Face Coaching: Lisa’s coaching services include: professional coach training, leadership and career transition support via workshops, group coaching and one to one coaching. She is an ICF Certified Coach specialising in Christian Life and Leadership Coaching. Her heart is for Christian leaders wanting to re-ignite their love for Jesus Christ, to equip them to lead and serve from a solid foundation and in so doing help grow the kingdom of God through their workplace ministries.

Please call for a no-obligation chat on 01984 248259 to learn more.

Personal note: Lisa moved to Wiveliscombe in April of this year, via Dubai in the Middle East. She attends St Andrews in ‘Wivey’, loves living in “glorious Somerset” and is learning all about driving behind tractors on narrow lanes!

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