What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is “awareness that arises in the moment without judgment”. As a Christian coach it is imperative that you enter into a conversation and remain in a mindful space for the benefit of the person you are coaching. When you achieve that you have the opportunity to nurture a place of refuge – for the client.
Is mindfulness a secular or non-Christian practice?
A common misperception of mindfulness is that you as the coach “empty” your mind. Nothing could be further from the truth. As Christian coaches I want to help you shift your understanding of mindfulness to focus instead on:“stilling the mind”
An important place where mindfulness “flows” into Christian coaching is in the “stillness” that it creates: “Be still and know that I am God”. Invite Him into those places when you need His wisdom, peace, discernment, calmness and confidence. Further, one of the places mindfulness fits into the skills of a Christian coach is Abiding in Christ. Specifically, two behavioral outcomes are related to mindfulness:
- Spiritual guidance
More can be found in the article, “What Makes Christian Coaching Different?”
Benefits of mindfulness
Mindfulness integrates seamlessly with Christian coaching. Here are some of the personal benefits that come with mindfulness, that incidentally, are scientifically verified.
- Decrease stress, anxiety, rumination, worry depression and pain
- Increase well-being and emotional regulation
- Guides us into being fully present (able to listen vs. lost in thought)
Practicing mindfulness with those you coach
A leader I was coaching was sharing his journey of helping a church staff member navigate a challenging season. The staff member’s performance was not what he was accustomed to: flourishing ministry, empowered teams, and supportive colleagues. Instead, his reputation was suffering. As the lead pastor shared some of the difficult decisions he was struggling through, I offered to “hold space” (establishing a place of refuge) for him. This gave him an opportunity to sit quietly and discern what God wanted to say to my client. Rather than chastisement – he felt empowered. I paused for a moment during our prayer and in silence asked the Holy Spirit to comfort, encourage and clarify what my friend needed to do in this uncomfortable situation.
7 habits to nurture mindfulness
Mindfulness facilitates a heightened level of sensitivity and discernment to spot moments to pause and “hold space” for clients. Building up your ability to be mindful is like any habit you want to develop.
Neuroscience supports the notion that if you can break a certain line of thinking for 90 seconds you can interrupt the thought. A helpful way to do this is to focus on a certain muscle group, system in your body or skill you want to master. Focus and consistent practice and exercise will accelerate your development. Here are 7 habits that can help you focus your mindfulness on your clients.
Take 3-5 deep breaths focusing on opening your chest and expanding your belly on the intake, pause briefly, and exhale through your nose.
Find a quiet place, clear your mind, and pray.
Take a walk around the block.
Take the opportunity to stay present in the various conversations you have throughout the day.
Journal a list of things you are thankful for.
Read a book for pleasure but not related to your work.
Find a passage of scripture that you resonate with and focus on during breaks from work.
Reflection Questions to Enhance Your Mindfulness As a Christian Coach
- Describe your ability to remain fully present during your coaching appointments?
- What is happening when you allow your mind to wander?
- What is/are the triggers?
- When you realize your mind is elsewhere how have you gotten back on track?
- Decide on one or more of the habits from the list above that you will adopt.
Are you looking for a Coach Mentor?
Working with an excellent coach mentor is the fastest way to raise your coaching effectiveness. Both Bob and Gary are available for coach mentoring. Contact us HERE for a complimentary 30-minute conversation with Bob or Gary to discuss how personalized coach mentoring can make a difference in your coaching.