Saturday, December 24, 2016

Meet One of My Coaches

This business of serving and leading those in our sphere of influence . . .it's not for the faint of heart.

"We're in the middle of a corporate restructuring and I sure would love it if a professional consultant or coach would come to our headquarters to help us." I said it completely serious, our friends knowing that by "corporate" I mean our family and "restructuring" means, we're going through a season of transition. But when I say, "...a professional consultant or coach," I mean exactly a professional consultant or coach. 

I think he was half-joking, but Mark chuckled and raised his hand, "I'll do it." I looked across the room at him.

"You're on."

*Side note: He's 11-years old.

After Life Group, he and I stood in the kitchen, looking at my calendar. His mom stood off to the side as he glanced up at the ceiling as though his schedule hung there, invisible to everyone but him. 

"I believe Wednesday at 1:00 will work." His eyes met mine and then we both glanced over at his mom for affirmation. Yes, 1:00 then.

On Wednesday, one of my board members, (my son, Ezekiel), and I knocked on the door of their temporary lodging facilities, the short-term apartments for families about to re-locate to another military base. His parents apologized for not being able to stay, "We just have so many errands to run and last-minute preparations to make . . ." She hugged me and closed the door behind her. 

"Have a seat," Mark gestured toward the sparse furnishings. "So, tell me what you're working on." He sat across from us on a swivel recliner and watched as I took a notebook and pen from my bag.

Over the course of the next 90 minutes, Mark asked brilliant questions, challenged me to dig deep, discover underlying motives, prioritize, break down goals into doable action steps, and even helped me come up with a "stop doing" list. He brainstormed game-changing ideas with me. He listened. 

In fact, he didn't really talk much at all except for the questions he asked me. Sometimes, I rambled. (That might be an understatement.) And still, he was able to take my ramblings, form a concise, coherent summary, and use it to lead the conversation forward with another intelligent question.

The meeting was professional and effective. In fact, I credit that coaching session for the breakthrough in our family over the next couple of days.

Takeaway: Are you training your employees, supervisors, children, colleagues, teammates . . . to lead through coaching? 

Are you cultivating a culture that values listening, asking great questions, and engaging in meaningful conversations? 

The value of a coach cannot be overstated. If you have goals, make sure you also have someone to hold you accountable, challenge you, brainstorm ideas with, and leverage strategic and actionable problem solving techniques. 

**Mark's mom is a co-founder and Management Consultant at Overt Resolutions Group helping companies with conflict resolution and strategic problem solving. 

See where Mark gets his influence and training? ;) 

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