November 09, 2022

7 habits to nurture mindfulness in your coaching
Your clients have thanked you again and again for listening both to them and to the Lord with them. That is mindfulness at work! It’s one of the most powerful practices you can bring to your coaching.

Written By Gary Reinecke

ICF Master Certified Coach, Resource Designer, Mission Strategist : InFocus

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:

  • Discernment
  • 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

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.

1. Breathe

 Take 3-5 deep breaths focusing on opening your chest and expanding your belly on the intake, pause briefly, and exhale through your nose.  

2. Pray

Find a quiet place, clear your mind, and pray.

3. Walk

Take a walk around the block.

4. Practice

Take the opportunity to stay present in the various conversations you have throughout the day.

5. Gratitude

Journal a list of things you are thankful for. 

6. Read

Read a book for pleasure but not related to your work.

7. Meditate

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.

Cover Photo by Nguyen Dang Hoang Nhu on Unsplash

Photo by Rock Staar on Unsplash

Coaching spiritual growth

There are ministries and even bible studies filled with Christians who can’t answer the question, “What is God doing in your life?” How can you help them jumpstart into renewed spiritual growth?

Coaching Groups that Grow Disciples

You see the same people at church doing the same things over and over again. They are faithful but they aren’t really becoming more like Jesus. How can you as a coach help Christians break out of a spiritual growth plateau? 

4 Ways to Build Redemptive Relationships

You want to see people come to Christ but there seems to be a growing chasm between the churched and the unchurched. So how can you build redemptive relationships? 

The Barnabas Questions

If you have excellent listening skills and are armed with good questions you can empower people to live into all that they can be.

Five Questions to Greater Clarity

As a coach, it’s helpful to have a few hip-pocket questions that are useful in a wide range of situations. 

A risk that will make you a better coach

As a coach, you are great at asking hard questions—but they generally aren’t about you. Turning the tables on yourself with your clients is a risk you need to take.

3 Essentials When Establishing a Coaching Relationship 

Getting off to a good start interpersonally is an essential part of a well-functioning coaching relationship. Although coaching is not counseling or friendship, it’s still at core a relational process. Find the essentials for establishing a coaching relationship here.

Are you feeling the pressure of leadership?

You’ve been working hard. You’ve strategized, implemented, and followed through but things just aren’t working out as you planned. Even the best of leaders will discover their limitations when circumstances are challenging. Here are 4 things you can do to help you stay the course. 

That was a great coaching moment!

Most coaching assumes a formalized coaching relationship with a beginning, a middle, and an end, with clear goals to be accomplished along the way. However, you can also use your coaching skills in less formal ways– just as a way of relating and interacting. Think of it as a “coaching moment” instead of a “coaching relationship.”

Steps to Help You Make Decisions with God

You’ve got a big decision to make. When you make a decision based on the human intellect alone you might come away with a “good decision”; in contrast, when you consider God’s perspective on a matter you engage the spiritual dimension. This will lead you  down the path of prayerful decision making.