Today’s post is part of a series about coaching. I wrote these articles while interning with Church Assistance Ministry and have decided to share them with you because coaching is one of the many elements of leadership.
THE 5 ELEMENTS OF COACHING (part 1 of 2)
From my personal experience, I believe there are five elements of being coached. Since this is my personal experience, your list might be different, but this is my list of what has been key parts of being successfully coached by Steve Elliott.
If I could summarize one word to symbolize what Steve coaching me has meant, it would be the word “belief.” Steve’s belief in me as a leader has been the most impactful thing to me more than anything else. Steve has believed in me more than anyone else has before, and that’s probably one of the reasons that he has had a greater impact on me than anyone else. That belief is transferred into my own life, and as he has expressed that belief to me month after month, year after year in our coaching time, it has become part of me.
There are six things that has caused Steve’s belief in me to be so impactful:
- He expressed that belief to me directly.
- He expressed that belief to other people who knew me, and they told me about it.
- There was no personal gain for him expressing his belief in me
- He is 65 years old with many people and life experience, so he knows how to recognize good talent.
- He is a great leader who also teaches other leaders to be great.
- He develops tests and behavioral interviews to evaluate potential leaders and church planters.
Thinking about the impact Steve’s belief has had in me as a young leader reminds me of when I was being taught by a golf instructor by the name of Chris Bitticks. Mr. Bitticks and I are still friends today, but when I was a teenager he had a great impact on my life as a golfer and a young man. Bitticks believed in me and always knew that I had wha tit took to reach my goals. Bitticks expressed his belief in me with actions instead of words. He always gave me his time to instruct me on the golf course, eat meals with me, and talk over the phone when I was away playing in golf tournaments. Bitticks always knew that I worked hard on my golf game, and he responded with his belief in my golf game by always giving his time to help me.
Experiencing coaching from someone who greatly believes in your gives you a tremendous amount of confidence because you know someone has your back. No matter what you do or say, you always know that you have an experienced person who believes in you and what you are doing, even when other people do not.
When meeting with steve I have been fortunate to ask him many questions. Asking Steve questions and having him answer them has probably been the majority of the time we spend together. I often come to Steve with questions about what I experienced, what I have had to go through, what I don’t understand, and what I do not know how to do.
Because Steve has 40 years of ministry experience, he has many answers to those questions. He is able to dig deep into his rich life of ministry experience and leadership experience to provide coaching to assist me. Answers to those questions has helped to provide specific coaching to me in areas that I need help. It allows us to go deep into issues that I can improve and draw out of me the skills that I need to be an effective leader who can serve others. Those answers take me further, to new places as a leader.
Often when Steve would be answering my questions he would take the topic deeper into areas that I had not thought about before. Or he would provide coaching on the problem I asked a question about, then tell me what to expect next once I solved the problem. Often these were scenarios and topics I had not thought of before.
If Steve saw an area that he thought I needed coaching in, he would add value to me and teach me in that area, even if I didn’t ask a question. He would look at the areas of my leadership and offer advice and hold me accountable to what I had said I would do.
Being coached by Steve Elliott has also given me specific skills. As I referenced earlier, sometimes leadership conferences are filled with the “fluff” to motivate you to want to learn and grow as a leader instead of them providing you with training for new skills. For me, I have always had the strong desire to lead and serve people, but only thing holding me back where specific leadership skills to help me lead effectively. I had a strong motivation to lead people, but my skill set did not match up with my motivation.
When Steve and I meet, we both know that I have a strong desire to lead, and that allows us to go further, faster. Because we start with the skills that I need to go from there. This has helped me tremendously to improve my skills by maximizing my time with Steve. Skills such as how to run a meeting effectively, how to prepare to deliver a talk, or how to deal with difficult people. I have had the desire to lead people and serve people, and these were skills I needed to have to effectively lead others. And Steve provided the training for that.