The Heart of a Coach

The heart of a coachI believe the most important key to coaching excellence is cultivating the heart of a coach — deeply embracing the value system that underlies coaching. Learning to see people as God sees them is the foundational discipline in coaching. God chooses to work with us according to our creation (made in the image of God) and our destiny (made for relationship with him) instead of our condition (woefully screwed up). If he were responding to us according to our condition, he’d just destroy the planet and start all over again.

Embodying The Heart of a Coach

Coaches embodying the heart of a coach choose to believe that people can be what the Bible says they can be. And they believe that God has us on the road to becoming just that. Coaches are people who have cultivated a posture of faith about God’s work in human hearts: that God is already at work in people, he is well able to get his work done, and he doesn’t need us to step in to fix everyone around us to make sure that his plan is carried out. A coach’s heart is about having faith in the heart-changing power of the Holy Spirit.

The Heart of a Coach Embraces Humility

This discipline of faith also leads us to a place of humility: our part in changing people is much smaller than what we’ve become accustomed to thinking. The work is started by God: we simply come along side it, help the person see it and take responsibility to see it through. When someone we coach gets a victory, it is their victory, not ours, because they’ve done the work.

This fact makes learning to stop fixing people a real dying to self. We’re so addicted to the kudos and sense of accomplishment we get back from fixing others—but coaching doesn’t offer those rewards. We are forced to actually give without receiving anything in return. If you’ve not actively cultivated the discipline of sacrificial love in your life, the heart of a coach, you’ll find it extremely difficult to coach: everything in you will be crying out to tell so you can get something back.

Tony Stoltzfus is a best-selling author, leadership coach, master coach trainer and founder and executive director of Leadership Metaformation. For more information on Tony’s best-selling coaching books go to