The Journey Blog

Reflections on the art of leading

Exceptional Coaches

Those who follow the growing field of executive coaching understand that not all coaching is of equal value. Coaches who have received advanced training and internationally accredited certifications are better equipped to help their clients grow and learn.

When my coaching associates and I attended postgraduate training in executive and personal coaching with the College of Executive Coaching we were impressed by the high caliber men and women, both on faculty and our fellow students. Only those with graduate level degrees are able to take the training, so all held advanced degrees and many had decades of experience in their fields. There were Masters and Doctoral level participants in Clinical Psychology, Ministry, and Social Work. There were MBA's and MDiv's. There were professionals from tech companies and government.

During our training Dr. Jeffrey Auerbach, president of the CEC, told us that those who have had clinical training and experience have the foundation to be exceptional coaches.

Taking off from Auerbach's "Thirteen Reasons Therapists Make Great Coaches", I offer my own reflections on why theologically trained, experienced ministry practitioners have the foundation to be exceptional coaches, too.

1. Insights into the human spirit that answer to who we are as people made in the image of God, and that fit the world as it truly is, not as we imagine it to be.

2. A reliable framework for establishing, and celebrating human dignity with its uniqueness and its diversity, its beauty and its brokenness.

3. A basis for being non-judgmental and accepting.

4. A personal understanding of individual, family, and community life transitions.

5. An understanding of the importance of healthy life and vocational practices and rhythms such as daily prayer and Sabbath.

6. A basis for, and understanding that one's thoughts and feelings, fears and temptations, are common to human experience.

7. Ministry practitioners also often have training in the use of assessments to help individuals understand their personality type, preferences, strengths, and areas that need extra development or management.

Adapted from: 2001. Auerbach, Jeffrey E. Personal and Executive Coaching: The Complete Guide for Mental Health Professionals.