A study of the teachings and life of Jesus Christ will show that He understood people learn better when they discover answers for themselves. Each of His teaching/learning techniques was focused on the person or persons sitting in front of Him. Be it one person or several thousand, Jesus’ focus was always the same; How are you going to leave here changed- different from when you arrived?” Whether Jesus was asking questions, using illustrations (stories), object lessons, teachable moments, or practice, His aim was always to lead those in front of Him to discover the truth, the real answers. And He was a master at leading people in discovery learning!
Likewise, coaching leadership is leading people to discovery. It is not often that a person will realize his/her potential without the help and encouragement of others. A coach helps individuals and teams to realize their potential and to discover ways of being efficient and effective in reaching that God-given potential. Most often when we think of a coach we think of sports teams. There is at least one similarity between these two types of coaches.
There has never been a sports coach who gave one ounce of skill to an athlete. A sports coach cannot endow or give an athlete any skill or ability to be a better ballplayer or athlete. You cannot give skill. What the great sports coaches have learned to do is assist the player in discovering and developing the skill and ability that lies inside the athlete. Thus, challenging the athlete to rise to his/her full potential as a ballplayer, runner, or swimmer.
Similarly, a coaching leader assists the coachee in discovering and developing the life skills and abilities he/she has inside, allowing him/her to rise to his/her full potential in business, in life, in ministry.
There are, what I consider, two major quality characteristics of coaching. Without continually striving to increase your understanding and use of these two characteristics, one will never be a coach of great value. I began to understand the value of these two characteristics as a very young adult. At that time, I had no idea where my journey would lead me. I began studying them simply to better myself as a salesman. Wow! What a journey it has been. To God be the glory.
Do you want to be a more effective leader? Learn and model the leadership techniques of Jesus. And as you use them, be certain you’re leading people to discover the truth and needed answers to move them forward. Jesus did and it still works today.
George Yates is the Church Health Strategist for the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions, assisting churches and individuals in pursuing God’s purpose for life. Learn more at ALSBOM.org/revitalization.