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Coaching from the Sideline

Instead of providing answers to problems, this mentoring strategy guides people to devise their own plays.

Carlos called me in a panic. His ministry was suffocating him and his mind was filled with thoughts of leaving. He'd waited until late afternoon to call, and I had thoughts of getting home to mow the lawn. I did not have time to let him cry on my shoulder (or in my ear, as the phone would have it). So I put forth the blunt question I reserve for need-seekers: "Why are you calling me?"

The truth was he was looking for a job connection. I considered hanging up. But rather than send him away empty-handed, I offered to coach him through the situation. I'd recently completed a certification process for coaching, and I figured I could practice my new skills on Carlos with little risk of botching it. After all, he was already prepared to leave the ministry. How much worse could I make it?

He responded to my invitation to coach him with a question of his own: "What's coaching?"

Basics of the game

Coaching assumes that a unique "solution seed" lies within every challenge. This seed simply needs to ...

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