One of the key foundations of coaching is the belief that the person being coached is able to hear from God. The client is able to discern and cooperate with what God is doing– the coach’s role is to help them do that. In taking this approach, coaching honors and relies on the Holy Spirit.
The question for coaches is this: Do we really believe that the Spirit can speak to people? When we don’t trust that people can and will hear from the Holy Spirit, that’s when we are tempted to move into advice-giving mode. Because if people can’t hear from God for themselves, we feel we ought to tell them what they should do.
Here’s the position of a coach who believes that the Spirit speaks to everyone and that we all have the capacity to hear from God:
- We assume the Holy Spirit is resident in people and they have the capacity to listen to God and respond.
- We can come alongside someone to help them develop personally and do what God has called them to do.
There is a great deal of value in listening before giving advice. With listening, you help them unpack their best thinking and often they come up with their own solution and you don’t need to give advice. It does require patience and discipline, and we need to respect people and believe that they are able to hear from God.