Christian Life Coaching Bookstore

How Are Being a Coach and Being A Christian Related, by Kimberly Dinsdale

Jun 30th, 2010 | By | Category: Coaching Women, [None]

“Powerful coaching comes from studying, internalizing and imitating the Father’s heart toward us.”

The first time I read Tony Stoltzfus’ book, Leadership Coaching, I was both excited and bothered at the same time.  I was excited to find someone talking about and describing coaching in a way that I resonated with so deeply.  I was also bothered that there needed to be a book to define and teach these kinds of relationships.  After all, isn’t he describing how, as followers of Christ, we are to behave and treat others?

Tony Stoltzfus says, “Powerful coaching comes from studying, internalizing and imitating the Father’s heart toward us.”  What does God’s heart look like?  How do we study, internalize and imitate God’s heart?  As a parent, I look at my children with amazement.  I see my image reflected in their eyes and smile.  I see them bigger than they can even see themselves.  I see beyond their errors, know-it-all attitudes and exasperating refusal to do what I ask of them, when I ask them to do it.  No matter how frustrated I become with these kids, I love them.  Translate that to God’s love for everyone created in the very image of God.  God looks at them with a love more immense and complete than the kind of love I can offer my children.  God sees the very image of God’s self in our eyes and smile.  God loves me beyond my errors, my know-it-all-attitude, my exasperating refusal to love my neighbor as myself in the way that God asks me too.

What is possible when we internalize the Father’s heart toward us?  What does that even mean?  Encarta Dictionary says internalize is to adopt the beliefs, values, and attitudes of others, either consciously or unconsciously.  Imagine adopting the beliefs, values and attitudes of God our Creator, such that we subconsciously mirror God’s heart.

What is possible in coaching when we imitate this kind of heart of God?  When we look into the eyes of our client or listen to their voice and hear their smile or sorrow, what are we noticing?  What image do we see?  Do we look beyond their flaws and shortcomings?  Are we able to see them bigger than they see themselves?  Do we see a reflection of the Creator inside of them?  Rather than condemn, how can we come along side them and encourage?  Instead of judgment, how do we show full and complete love?

How do we operate differently as coaches when, because we’ve so internalized God’s heart, we begin to imitate God’s heart?  Imagine living out our calling, as coaches and Christ followers, in a loving, refining way.  What will happen when we as coaches model this as a way for Christians to treat all others (not only our clients), honorably and obediently reflecting God incarnate?

I realize I’m singing to the choir and perhaps simply further reflecting Tony’s thoughts from his book.  I’m coming off of several months of deconstructing and reconstructing what it really means and looks like and feels like to live in a postmodern, progressive, emerging reality of coaching and Christianity.  I am excited to be back on board.  I’ve missed offering my thoughts at the Christian Coaching Center, along with moderating articles by other coaches for the Coaching for Women page.  Stay tuned and join the conversation as other guest coaches post their articles in the Coaching for Women Community.  I’m overwhelmed at the load of information out there about coaching.  We are honored you stopped by.

~Kimberly Dinsdale,

Professional Life Coach, Trainer and Facilitator

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