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Lessons from Kathryn:
Let the client do the work

So I know you have been waiting on the edge of your seat for "Lessons from Kathryn" from last week.  Things got really out of control this past week and I wasn't able to post anything substantial.   So you will more than likely get two lessons from Kathryn this week. 

To be quite truthful with you, Kathryn and I discussed confidential matters during 90% of the meeting last week, so I can't really share the  majority of what she taught me.  But before I share the 10% I can share, I will say this...Kathryn always, always, always processes relationship before task.  This has always been a priority for me with those that I manage, however never to the degree that she does it.  I must say, I've got some improvement to do, and I'm following a person who is showing me exactly how to do it.  Amazingly my work doesn't suffer at all because we do that, and in fact I believe it's much more effective but then again you'd have to get her input on that to get an impartial review of my work.  Alright, on to the other 10%...

I asked her, "what's the biggest lesson you've learned in coaching?" 

  She spit the answer out without missing a beat:  "Let the client do the work!" 

So of course I said, "expound on that for me if you will..." 

And to that she said, "The client has to be fully engaged in the process.  People need to understand that coaches aren't there to fix everything.  So many times they just have the attitude, 'okay, tell me what to do..." but you aren't there just to tell them what to do, but to guide them in the process and let them do the work.   They need to have a sense of real pride and accomplishment and know that they are far more capable than they ever thought they were." 

That was a good word that I really needed to hear.  It goes against the way I operate in life 90% of the time, not only in my work but my personal life and I've known for a long time that this needs to change but just needed a kick in the pants to do it.    Well, actually Kathryn never kicks anybody in the pants, not even CLOSE, so please don't read into that.  The fact is, I take what my leader says very seriously and kick myself in the pants when I know they're right. 

Doing things myself is an addiction of sorts.  For reasons of time management and quality, I tend to do things myself whether it be taking a client's resume and saying, "Don't worry about it, I'll re-write it and email it back to you tonight" instead of letting them do the task with my coaching here and there.  I get frustrated and want things done yesterday, not to mention done right.  It's the same reason I do many things myself at home or at the church.  I don't want to wait, don't want them done slowly, and don't want them to be done with anything less than 100% effort.  But  to lead that way is cheating people out of a major growth experience.  If they don't do it themselves, how will they learn?  Grow?  Have any sense of accomplishment? 

Besides that, I need a lot more time for the beach, and Lifetime movies.  :)


Anonymous said… husband and I were just talking about this very thing yesterday. We both hated "group projects" in high school and college, because we would rather have just done the work ourselves and gotten it done [and done it RIGHT!]. We have, unfortunately, transferred that attitude to ministry, and are working hard to change it and delegate more responsibilities to our team. It's hard to stop being a control freak, though :o).

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