Asking the Right Questions
by Dorianne Cotter-Lockard
The coaching partnership at its best is a mutual giving and receiving relationship. I see it as two hearts, minds, and souls coming together within the context of Spirit. I took this approach even in the corporate business setting, where I first began to mentor and coach colleagues. In the ministry context, I am free to bring specific spiritual principles and prayer into the process, which is a joy for me!
There is a distinction between a coach, mentor, and counselor. A mentor focuses on the “how,” providing guidance and insight from his or her own experience. A counselor or therapist is trained in psychology and therapeutic approaches to help an individual heal aspects of mental processes and behavior that present challenges in everyday life. A coach is distinct from these two roles: she or he helps the client to gain insight by asking open-ended questions. According to Coe, Zehnder and Kinlaw, a coach spends 80% of the time listening and 20% of the time asking questions. The coach challenges and encourages the client to facilitate understanding and insights. Through this process, the client solves his or her own challenges and opens up to new ways of thinking and being.
I recommend that ministers develop relationships with a mentor, a counselor, and a coach, depending on the circumstances. Why is this important? A minister knows that she or he must stay centered in Spirit and be fully available to shine the light for others. Sometimes the light is obscured by shadow issues from the past. A counselor or therapist can be helpful in this situation. Sometimes the minister has a vision for the future of their ministry, but isn’t sure how to attain the vision. A mentor who has experience in ministry can guide the minister toward their vision. Other times, a minister seeks clarity in how he or she is BEing and DOing as a minister. This is where a coach can be most helpful.
Coaching Rev. Geraldine Colvin as a component of the Transformation Experience program has been a delightful experience. As a coach, I help her and other ministers in three major ways:
Self-discovery: By using tools such as the Spiritual Intelligence (SQ21) assessment and the Q-Process in coaching sessions, a minister discovers her growing edges and focus on personal development.
BEing who you have come here to be: By using tools such as Mariah Nemeth’s Card Exercise as a basis for discussion, a minister explores her essential God-qualities and how those qualities show up in her ministry practices.
Aligning BEing and DOing: In keeping with the spiritual principle “As within, so without,” we explore what is showing up in the church and how that ties to the minister’s ways of BEing and DOing.
Accepting the Invitation
by Geraldine Colvin
The coaching partnership that is part of the Transformation Experience program is a rich and rewarding opportunity. From the start of our coaching partnership, I felt comfortable talking with Dorianne, our TE Consultant Guide. Her warm and welcoming personality, impressive experience in business and ministry, and her deep spirituality have been the perfect combination to help me see in new ways and make changes towards personal and ministerial goals.
Our coaching sessions always begin and end with prayer and time in the silence. Dorianne then asks questions to clarify what is working well and what areas in which I could use support or guidance. As we discuss various topics, it becomes clear which spiritual principles and practices would be most beneficial to apply. Sometimes it is as simple, but vital, as remembering the qualities on my Q-Card and seeing how an outer situation is inviting me to “be who I came here to be.” When addressing issues within the ministry, we often use the Four Quadrants chart as a framework to see where and how the ministry is changing. We also apply the ideas of Spiral Dynamics to track what is emerging and evolving. Dorianne’s skill in asking questions quickly gets to the heart of the matter, and reveals the opportunity in each experience. Afterwards, I often find myself meditating on a particular question or statement from our coaching sessions, and even greater insights, answers and inspirations emerge. Coaching expands my perception, and thus my world, by revealing insights and viewpoints I had not previously seen.