We all know asking good questions is key to great coaching. Do you ever let yourself wander down the lane of questioning? Do you ever wonder about why? Or think about the “what ifs” in a good way? Especially on behalf of the people you are coaching. For example: What if this obstacle went away? What if they didn’t have to do X?
As coaches and leaders of others, we can wonder our way to some discoveries and find answers to struggles, even struggles that are not ours. We can help the people we coach by wondering things on their behalf or simply wondering about them as people and maybe their situation. We can wonder about all the things that we do not yet know for sure about the people we are coaching and in all that questioning we just might stumble upon their secret sauce for success in support raising.
For some people this kind of wondering comes naturally. When you think through a situation you might naturally think about changing one thing and how that would impact everything thereafter. That is the kind of wondering we are hoping for. Asking yourself or the person you are coaching, “what would happen if..” or
I wonder if this is an obstacle?
I wonder if they have this skill or that support?
I wonder If they have thought about…?
I wonder what they tell themself before or after an appointment?
I wonder what lie they struggle with?
When we ask the wonder questions on behalf of someone else, we are not bound by the current paradigm or what they feel are the limits and constraints of their current life or situation. When we do not fully know everything about the lives of the people we coach, we can wonder and thus ask a broader range of questions than they will ask themselves. We are free to ask questions about what could be possible and sometimes we wonder our way into something they simply couldn’t see or think of on their own.
We have previous experiences and even understand biases in support raising that allow us to even wonder about specific situations. For example, I coached a young English-speaking Latina woman from Arizona who found herself stuck. Everyone seemed to be excited, and yet no one wanted to commit to support her. I wondered if she needed authority behind her invitations, but her father, who would traditionally be the one to lend his authority, had passed away. So how could she receive permission and anointing. We decided to try a letter from the director of the site where she would be working stating that she was called and equipped and the organization was so honored to have her work with us. She did not know to ask for such a letter, but whether it gave her the authority she needed in the community or simply the boost of confidence she needed, we will never know for sure, but people began to join her team and she went on to be fully funded.
We already know as coaches, it is important not to assume things about possible supporters or their situations. The same is true for the people we coach. We really want to open our wondering to all the facets of their life and wonder about what could change or grow, what could be a struggle. Let’s not stop there, we can even wonder about what the Lord is doing. Those questions allow us to help lift the eyes of the people we are coaching from the physical world to the spiritual. That in turn can provide a chance for them to see how God is moving through their support raising journey. We should not put limits on this, instead we need to ask all the wonder questions we can as we shepherd and encourage the people we have the privilege to coach.
You are uniquely equipped and positioned to be used by God to wonder and ask questions. Especially when the people you coach come up against what seems to be an invisible obstacle or the endless plateau in support raising, we can be the catalyst to launch them through the next phase. Truly, the more you wonder about and for the people you are coaching, the more questions you ask about different ideas, the sooner you might uncover or help them uncover what was previously invisible. And it is in those moments that the possibilities can become endless. What a privilege it is to use this tool to learn about people and the work God is doing and then watch them overcome what was previously unknown with new knowledge, skills, self awareness and passion for God.