I stumbled into coaching in 2011, as a newlywed, when a friend helped me and my wife understand our Gallup's StrengthsFinder results (now called CliftonStrengths) through coaching. This type of coaching wasn't like a sports coach. It was mostly questions that helped me verbally process my own story. In the first year of my marriage we had the opportunity to build some common language together about how we were different, what we valued, and how we might honor each other's unique design.
A few months later, I found myself calling friends around the world who were transitioning into difficult circumstances, and realized they didn't need my strategies or advice. They need a patient ear, a thoughtful question, and space to process their feelings, desires and goals. In that confidential space, they began seeing results: stronger team dynamics, more fruitful work, healthier relationship between work and family, and steady personal growth.
As I began my training for coaching, I had to fight my instincts. I was trained in a leadership culture that prioritized sharing knowledge and expertise as the primary way to mentor others, and mentoring as the best way to support others. This approach is great for certain seasons in our lives, but to truly flourish, we need a different type of expertise. We need to become expert listeners. We need space, the presence of a listening ear, and helpful questions that direct us to find our answers for ourselves.
In the midst of my coaching journey, I discovered spiritual accompaniment. It provides sacred moments to pay attention to how God might be speaking, and encouragement in often difficult seasons. Spiritual accompaniment helped me see how much we need friends who can pay attention, who support us by asking good questions and restraining themselves from judgement or giving advice.
I began training people in this approach in 2020, as I realized that not everyone has the capacity or resources for coaching or spiritual companions. The more people who are trained in asking open and powerful questions the better, I realized. So now, in addition to offering spiritual accompaniment, strengths and life coaching, I train others to look for a better question in their relationships, to be patient and attentive.
Why coaching? Because it centers the story on you, and your journey. I'm honored to be a part of it.