In last week’s blog, we took a broad look at self-assessment, one of the core competencies of a Christian coach. This week, we begin to dive deeper into what self-assessment actually means, how it is expressed through our behavior and how we can grow in awareness of ourselves. Truly understanding our own motivations and our own strengths and weaknesses will ultimately help us to better meet the needs of the people we coach.
Self-assessment is developed through several behavioral expressions. In the upcoming weeks, we will explore each of these expressions, starting with Interpersonal Awareness. Interpersonal awareness means becoming aware of and evaluating the strengths and weaknesses you bring to your coaching relationships.
I recently reflected on one of my own weaknesses when it comes to coaching: I tend to interject my own experiences into my coaching practices. As a coach, part of our job is to stay indifferent and detached. This isn’t to say we don’t care, but it’s important not to overreach and push our own opinions or agendas into the lives and situations of our clients.
As a recent example of this, I was working with a client who was navigating the best way to mobilize the house churches in his network. During the Covid pandemic, his church broke down into smaller house churches. It was a large congregation, splitting into thirty house churches, which eventually grew to fifty. That’s a lot to manage! We talked about the model for a house church and the best way to train a leader. I definitely have a lot of opinions in this area, and it was difficult for me to stay indifferent as he was choosing a route I might not have taken myself. I came to realize that the path he was choosing was actually the better option for that particular congregation.
It’s important to have an understanding of ourselves as we coach others. Because I recognize my tendency to assert my own opinions, I can intentionally hold back those opinions when it’s not appropriate to share them. A lot of this comes down to our particular behavioral styles; we don’t want to superimpose our behavior onto a client. If you aren’t sure what your behavioral style is, I’d recommend looking into DiSC.
In addition to deepening our self-awareness, we also need some prior understanding of our clients. The more we know about them, the more we can adapt to their needs. A good coach is aware of how their strengths and weaknesses interact with another’s.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself before your next session with a client:
- Do I tend to be dominant or be more passive in relationships? What about my client?
- Do I tend to control a conversation or go with the flow? What about my client?
- Is my processing slow or fast? What about my client?
- Am I task-focused or driven by the relationship? What about my client?
- Do I think in terms of the big picture or do I focus on the details? What about my client?
If you are interested in a full explanation of how our team (namely Dr. Bob Logan & Dr. Chuck Ridley) arrived at the competencies of a Christian Coach – CLICK HERE. And check out our new resource for Christian Coaching – ChristianCoachingTools.com!