8 ways coaches help leaders who are stuck

By Carl Martin

In the coastal region of South Carolina where I live, there is a sticky type of mud called pluff mud. Pluff has stolen many flip flops of unsuspecting vacationers as they wade in the warm, brackish salt water off our coast. Getting stuck is reality, but not desired. Most of us sincerely want to move forward in our lives, but we all get stuck occasionally. Without a partner to walk with us through the pluff of daily living and an overwhelming information dump, we can stay stuck longer than necessary. My Best Coach is Jesus! Jesus is our guide and navigator as we trudge through the daily grind of life and ministry. He is our “way, truth, and life” (John 14:6). “Grace and truth” is found in Him (John 1:14). We need grace because we continually adjust to the reality of being human. We live with our mistakes, sins, miscommunications, and dysfunctions daily. We need truth to assist in this adjustment. Without the truth of God’s Word and the grace of a friend who will speak this truth into our lives, we live with no boundaries or accountability. Left to ourselves, we drift and get stuck. We all need coaches! 8 Ways Coaches Help Here are 8 ways we teach coaches to come alongside leaders who are stuck: 1. Establish intentional coaching relationships (John 1:37-39). The best coaching is incrementally scheduled, intentionally planned conversations. 2. Discover the “prepared soil of the heart” for internal motivation and external movement (John 1:47-51). Coaching moves beyond behavior modification to deep soil of the heart. 3. Get precise by setting S.M.A.R.T. goals: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-specific (John 2:1-8). Coaching results in clear, measurable actions from the person being coached. 4. Listen for a high sense of awareness (John 3:1-21). Coaches are strong, curious listeners. 5. Clarify by asking powerful questions (John 4:1-26). Coaches ask open-ended questions that helps people they coach to go deeper – they resist the tendency to be “tellers.” 6. Apply tools for getting past being stuck (John 5:1-17). Coaches help the people they coach discover God’s resources to help them move forward. 7. Finalize next action steps (John 6:1-15). Coaches hold the people they coach accountable for following through on their commitments. 8. Create support structures. (John 6:60-71).* Coaching is a relationship that moves beyond phone conversations to intercessory prayer and life-on-life commitment. *adapted with permission from the LeadersEDGE coaching network founded by Dr. Steve Cloud www.visionventures.org

Published January 9, 2015

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Carl Martin

Carl Martin is Missions and Life Group Pastor at Low Country Community Church www.lowcountrycc.org in Bluffton, S.C. He is also part of the Leader's Edge Coaching Network. He and his wife, Peggi, planted Crosspoint Church in Bluffton in 2008, and currently live in Bluffton, S.C.