Four “If’s” To Clarify Your Plotline

All good stories have one thing in common. All of them.

Think about it. Got any ideas?

Here’s a hint. Have you ever stopped watching a series? The number one reason people stop watching a series, or skip ahead in a book, is because they are bored.

Here it is: one thing all good stories have in common is a plot!

The plot gives us a reason to keep watching. We are wondering what’s going to happen?

 

If you are bored with your life, it’s likely your plot line is lagging. Have you given up hope? Are you not sure what’s next?

Having a destination clarifies the journey!

  • If you don’t know where you are going, how will you know what your next step is?
  • If you don’t have a purpose, your adventure is on pause.
  • If you can’t move forward for some reason, removing that reason can be your next target.
  • If you don’t have a dream, whose dream could your skills make happen?

If you are still living there is a reason. God has something for you to...

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How To Take Your Leadership To The Next Level!

What if taking your care to the next level required less of you but was more effective?!

Is that even possible!

Caring for the young requires a lot from the caregiver.

  • They need things done for them.
  • They have to be taught about expectations.
  • They need to practice to get things right.

It can be downright exhausting, but now that my kids are grown I am so proud of them. They feed themselves, tie their own shoes, read on their own etc. In fact my kids have mastered adulting and are having their own families and making an impact on the world! I’m so proud of them.

When they were young it wasn’t always easy, but as we taught them how to do things they grew and became more and more healthfully independent.

Our church family is like this, too.

When people are young in faith they need to have things done for them, be taught about expectations and they need practice to get things right.

As leaders it can be easy to get stuck thinking the people we are caring for are...

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Three “Must Haves” To Be A True Coach

Indulge me a little musing in this blog?

I was chatting with a couple coach trainees recently and we got to talking about how much easier it is to just tell people what to do… But true coaches DON’T tell people what to do.

True coaches use active listening and powerful questions to help people engage with God toward the desires God has put in their hearts and the the way God is leading them!

True coaching requires patience, trust and belief. These things take time and don’t come easy. Let me explain.

Patience

Coaching walks with a person while they are learning to hear God’s voice for themselves. It would be much easier for me to just tell them what to do!

BUT woah! What if I am wrong…. that is a scary thought and dangerous. However, if I am right it can be equally not good, if I am right I am teaching them that they need to go to someone else to hear from God… How sad. God wants to talk to them personally, and I want to get in the middle for...

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Three Ways Coaching Is Like Eating Organic Food!

Talking with a couple coach trainees yesterday got me to thinking about how eating organic food is like coaching.

Here’s some of my thoughts. Organic food by definition is pure. It has no additives or artificial interference. It is slow, you can’t rush it or grow it in a hurry and it has a different constitution than say, fast food.

So, here’s the three ways that Coaching is like eating organic food.

1.Organic food is not what we naturally crave.

I crave a soda and fries… but as I learn to listen to my body better I am finding that those cravings were a mask to what I really wanted and needed.

In my spiritual life I crave someone just telling me what to do. I don’t really want to dig behind the mask to find out what is really needed in my life.

2.You probably can’t get organic food in a drive thru.

I want a quick fix. If I could get a godly answer in a drive thru situation I would wait in line for it. But the waiting God has for me is of a...

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3 Essential Elements To Being Coachable [Step 2: Build a Plan]

Defining “Coachable” is vital!

In Part 1 of this series we saw that without choosing a focus the coaching conversation (and our lives) are just rambling around with no destination.

Once we know where we are going we need to have a way to get there.

It seems elementary, but just like no one sets out intentionally to not focus, few people choose a focus and then choose not to make a plan.

We all do it though.

We want something that we aren’t really doing anything about.

Which of these are on your list?

  • to retire fully funded.
  • to eat healthfully.
  • to be fit.
  • to stay connected with family.
  • to make our living environments aesthetically inviting.
  • not to be too busy for the important things in life.

The list could go on and on, but it doesn’t need to.

Once we have narrowed down our possibles to one specific next goal, we can take Step 2 and begin the journey. (See the Part 1 post if you need help here.)

There are a lot of O words and Opportunities involved here....

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3 Essential Elements To Being Coachable [Step 1: Choose A Goal]

Coaching isn’t for the weak. Moving forward isn’t usually easy. It takes clarity, confidence and courage to advance, for both the coach and the coachee.

Let’s break it down. If Coaching = moving from here to there, then a vital element in the coaching conversation starts with the “there”.

If someone isn’t sure where they are heading, they are just roaming.

Roaming means wandering around, or not having a destination. There are two common detriments that distract people from having a focus.

1. Lack of vision. This type of roaming focuses more on circumstances than the change needed to experience release. It comes out as complaining and can disguise itself in the need for empathy and validation while being absent of hope and forward movement. [The 10 spies had this problem! What they saw was real, they just didn’t have the right focus. Or the guy with one talent who did nothing with it…]

Honestly this can happen for me when I am looking...

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Top Ten Reasons Coaching Works Better Than Telling

Everyone can use the coaching paradigm! Here’s 10 reasons why:

10) You don’t have to know everything for everyone.

Leaders who tell have to know what’s best for every situation and each person in order to be effective. That’s a lot of stuff to know! (And what if you aren’t right?)

9) People love it when you focus on them.

Active listening is highest form of loving someone. When the focus is on the other person there is a lot less pressure on the coach to solve issues. It is way easier to be curious, trust the Holy Spirit and listen than to have to diagnose and prescribe.

8) Relationship trumps regimen every time.

God designed us to be in relationship with Him and others. When we reduce leadership to telling people what to do, we can easily “cookie cutter” people by categorizing them and offering a rules pathway to results rather than connecting relationally to walk through life with them.

7) Anyone can do it.

Tools needed for coaching are a...

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How To Avoid The "Instawall!"

You already know what the Instawall is! You’ve likely been on one side or the other multiple times, but now you have a word for it.

It happens when someone says something that builds an instant wall between two people where no matter what was said it cannot be considered a valid choice. A line of respect has been breached and the listener feels small, invalidated or infantized.

Most often the Instawall happens after openers like these:

“You know what I would do if I were you….”

“Okay, so here’s what you need to do…”

“Did you want to (insert what the speakers want them to do) ….?” (this is the soft sell version)

“Listen to me now! …”

Each of these lines assumes the speaker knows best what should happen next for another person.

The kicker is that the speaker may be right! But if the statement is made in a way that makes the other person feel like they are being bossed, or belittled or just flat...

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How To Facilitate An Aha Moment (It’s easier than you think)

Ahhh…. That glorious “Aha moment”!

This is the actual moment in time when someone sees something differently for the first time. It could be that they:

  • recognize a dream
  • identify and obstacle
  • own a viewpoint
  • see a way forward that they never saw before

The Aha Moment is a hope and joy for every coaching leader, and truly for every person being coached!

The Aha Moment brings clarity, hope and vision that were not there before it happened.

The Aha Moment is the first step in getting unstuck.

So, how do we get there? How can we facilitate an Aha Moment?!

The best thing we can do as coaches is to provide a safe place for processing. This opens the door of opportunity for two things to happen.

1) The person being coached gets the floor.

Simply allowing someone “air time” to verbalize what they are going through can produce an Aha Moment. I can think of a number of times I was going through something, took it to a friend or leader and as I talked out what...

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The One (And Only) Way To Sabotage Potential!

Tucked away perfectly in the tiny acorn is the potential for a mighty oak tree!

The only way that’s not going to happen is if the dear acorn is not nurtured. It needs little to flourish but the recipe is clear. There needs to be healthy soil, adequate moisture, available sunshine and a good location (climate wise).

Humans are like that too. We need nurturing to grow into all we could become.

We need healthy soil. It’s like a having a healthy soul where the weeds (lies) are not taking all the nutrients for themselves.

We need adequate moisture. The River of Life is available to us all. It is an underground spring where God can bring freshness and life to our inner man.

We need available sunshine. When God shines on our nexts everything changes. Our part is in the waiting. Some times it’s not sunny when we want it to be and it’s in the waiting that our roots grow deep. His timing is always perfect.

We need a good location. The right community and culture...

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