How NOT To Use Coaching As A Leader/Boss!

When coaching a client or a friend, it's important that the person being coached chooses the focus. They decide what goal they want to move forward toward and what their next steps will be.

Not so with business.

Well, not completely anyway.

Gone are the days when the "boss" tells people what to do and how to do it. No one wants to work there, but at times I have seen the pendulum swing completely the other way.

In some circles, there is a lack of clarity on how goals should be set and who should be setting them. Some leaders simply leave the work to the workers and "respect" what they choose to focus on. This is not coaching. Some would even call it distancing, or even neglect.

ENTER Patrick Lencioni and The Advantage. 

The concepts he promotes in this book are over-arching if you are a leader of anything really, maybe even just your own home or your own life. He proposes every leadership team take time to make a list of their core objectives. For a business that could...

Continue Reading...

Ten Reasons Coaching Works Better Than Telling

People have stuff!

How you handle it makes all the difference!

Do you feel like you need to have answers for people?
Or maybe you actually do have answers but they don't seem to be listening.

Here are 10 reasons coaching works better than telling!

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

Leaders who tell have to know what’s best for every situation and for each person 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 the 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...

Continue Reading...

Are You One of These 5/6 Types of People?

Are there professional life coaches? Of course!

But the majority of people who take coach training are:

  • Businessmen - looking for leadership develpment
  • Ministers - wanting to make disciples, not foster dependents
  • Parents - of both young children and adult children
  • Friends - who people come to with their stuff
  • Followers of Jesus - who are hoping to make a kingdom impact

I guess what I am saying is you don't have to want to be a professional coach to consider coach training!

Do you have an ed allowance? This could be the right investment!

Would you like truly help others help themselves? This course will give you the conversational tools to do so!

At every last class I love hearing how the course has affected people. Some of my favorites are the double dippers. I've had more than one businessman take the course to level up their leadership and experienced a change in their relationship with their adult children. We've seen ministers take the course to better serve their congregation...

Continue Reading...

6 Ways Coaching Makes Disciples (not dependents) Are you making disciples?

Jesus was rarely a "teller", and when He was it was mainly to the religious leaders when He was telling them off in no uncertain terms.

Think about it when you are reading the gospels. Jesus often responded to questions with questions, or sometimes with stories. We also have the beatitudes and many word pictures about what the kingdom is like. Most often, He encouraged people to decide what they needed to do next.

When we tell people what we think they should do we risk getting in the way of their personal connection with God. Of course, there are moral boundaries and we would never encourage someone to "decide" if those were right, but here are a few examples of where coaching questions could help someone make healthy choices:

  • who to date
  • whether or not to go to college and where
  • how to decide if you should stay with a certain job/role
  • choosing where to volunteer
  • how to move toward a specific goal, and even if you should

Just to name a few.

Coaching makes disciples by helping...

Continue Reading...

Those Lies That Lead Us...

We all do it. We shift into "easy mode" and let go of what we decided we were going to do. We drift away from, and never toward, intentionality.

And whether we like it or not it is our choice. Whether we mean to do it or not it is still a choice.

It's hard to choose well and then even harder to keep it up.

You know what I mean right?

You wake up in the morning and think to yourself, "Why did I do that last night? I said I wasn't going to have ice cream while watching TV!"

Or you look in the mirror and say, "Alright, it's back to the gym for you girl!"

Maybe it's a character habit for you, like losing your cool or giving in to worry or depression. Maybe it is a habit you want to start or one you want to stop. It could be a project you want to complete or even just one you want to start.

Whatever is on your mind, or whatever you are avoiding, the choice is yours. You can blame others or excuse yourself. OR you can take responsibility for who you are and how you are living...

Continue Reading...

DON'T WORRY! God Always Offers a Plan [practical steps to reconnect]

I don't know about you, but I leak sometimes. 

I leak confidence. I leak hope. I lean into despair or worry... and it seems so legit, cuz the stuff is real and it hurts, or it is taking too long, or I don't know why "it" didn't turn out like I thought. 

What's wrong with me? I've seen God answer plenty of prayers. I've been the beneficiary of provision, healing, forgiveness, guidance, comfort and so much more, but when stuff comes up. I seem to forget all that.

When I was a child and first heard the stories of the Israelites being delivered from Egypt, going through the Red Sea on dry ground, and being provided for in so many miraculous ways but then crying out to God wondering where He was, and asking to go back to Egypt; I didn't get it. I thought they were short-sighted and ungrateful. 

Turns out they were just human.

Turns out I am too.

I guess the Apostle Paul was like that too. In Romans 7:15 he says, 

I do not understand the things I do. I do not do what...

Continue Reading...

WARNING: There's Always Going To Be Stuff...

Ever feel overwhelmed - like there is just too.  much.  stuff.  ?

Sometimes it is your own stuff - like facing a transition, a misunderstanding, a loss, or working hard to accomplish a goal. Maybe even wondering if you are on the right path or will ever achieve what you had hoped for. 

As I get older other people's stuff weighs on me more - like my adult children's stuff or the people I work with or serve in ministry.

It could be health stuff, job stuff, relational stuff, financial stuff, house stuff... There could almost be endless categories. Stuff can be overwhelming. Stuff can steal your hope and your joy. It can distract you and blind you to all that is beautiful and good in life.

In Bridges Coaching, we talk about the Always Circle. It has three parts and the first one is: There's always going to be stuff. (Stay tuned for the next two blogs where we will explore the other two.)

It's true. There's always going to be stuff, but take heart.

Jesus said,


Continue Reading...

Step 2: Now What?

So, you have a goal, a place you want to build a bridge to, but now what?

(If you missed that blog - start there.)

Most times when we finally decide to do something we jump straight into building action steps. And while I love me some action steps, there's an important foundational step we need to do before we go there. 

It has to do with assessing your starting place. 

Taking time to discern any possible obstacles will set you up for success better than simply jumping right into action steps. You need to ask yourself if there has been anything that has held you back in the past from moving forward in whatever area you are focusing on.

If there are lies that need to be replaced you can start there.

If you have a history of not following through, it is worth looking in to so you can set yourself up for complete follow-through this time.

If you deal with blame or excuse, it will be important to address those pitfalls before you start anything.

Some people call this...

Continue Reading...

Step 4: Perhaps The Most Neglected But Most Valuable

So let's say you did it!

You achieved your goal!

You lost the weight or developed the new habit. You removed the lie and embraced the truth. You navigated a difficult conversation or built a bridge to a better relationship. 

Whatever you did it took work!

Whatever you did it was worth the effort!

But now what? If your goal was not a project you were completing, you are susceptible to falling right back into your old ways. After all, you have spent more of your life doing whatever you did before than you have doing it the new way. 

Just because you did it once, or even a few times, does not make it your new normal - yet.

(And even if the goal you achieved was completing a project of sorts, some of the following principles will still apply.)

What will it take to maintain your gain?l

At Bridges Coaching, we like to use two methods - Intentional Evaluation and Feedback. You can decide which would best suit your situation.

Intentional Evaluation is something you can do on...

Continue Reading...

Step 3: OK, Let's Get Some Traction!

Let's review our journey on the Bridges Coaching ROAD so far. 

R - take some time to RECOGNIZE where you want to go. Where are you building a bridge to? Please don't just pick something that bugs you, or even what jazzes you. Take time to discern where God is leading you to next! More on that here.

O - consider your personality and your track record. If what you were shooting for was easy, you would probably already be there or at least on your way. A new goal, a new journey, is going to take some OWNERSHIP on your part. Ask yourself what obstacles need to be addressed for you to move forward.

This brings us to our next letter in the Coaching ROAD.

A - is for ACTION STEPS.

Most people probably find the most traction here. This answers the "Now what?" question. Learning to make SMART goals is something our coach trainees say is a highlight of their studies. Defining where you want to build toward and what has held you back are important first steps, but we still haven't...

Continue Reading...

50% Complete

Receive Helpful Ministry & Coaching Tips

Get tips from Cindy a few times a month, and learn about new opportunities grow in your coaching skills!