Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Living Into One's Calling

Since I have become involved in doing clergy coaching, I have found that there is a great deal of interest in the field and a number of misconceptions about it. Like anything, coaching can become a “fad”” or “passing fancy” if the purpose and process are not clearly understood.

In a recent news release, the International Coach Federation defines coaching as “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.” My colleague Mark Tidsworth at Pinnacle Leadership Associates refers to coaching as “living into one’s calling.” Each person has their own “growing edge.” Life coaching is a way for a person to identify areas of potential growth, set appropriate goals, and develop action plans for achieving those goals.

As I have mentioned in earlier blogs, coaching is a distinct service and differs greatly from therapy, consulting, mentoring or training. Each of these serves a purpose, but coaching is a very focused approach to individual development. The process helps the client take control of his or her life and develop skills to maintain a healthy life balance. ICF explains that “individuals who engage in a coaching relationship can expect to experience fresh perspectives on personal challenges and opportunities, enhanced thinking and decision-making skills, enhanced interpersonal effectiveness, and increased confidence in carrying out their chosen work and life roles.”

My experiences in coaching have encouraged me to move forward to obtain the training to become a credentialed life coach. Although some of the skills needed in coaching may be innate, they can be honed and new skills developed through proper training. I think that is my “growing edge” right now.

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