Christian Coaching Competencies

CCNI Competency #6 – Listens Actively

Focuses on what the client is and is not saying to fully understand what is being communicated in the context of the client systems and to support client self-expression.

  1. Considers the client’s context, identity, environment, experiences, values and beliefs to enhance understanding of what the client is communicating.
  2. Reflects or summarizes what the client communicated to ensure clarity and understanding.
  3. Recognizes and inquires when there is more to what the client is communicating.
  4. Notices, acknowledges and explores the client’s emotions, energy shifts, non-verbal cues or other behaviors.
  5. Integrates the client’s words, tone of voice and body language to determine the full meaning of what is being communicated.
  6. Notices trends in the client’s behaviors and emotions across sessions to discern themes and patterns.

Christian Coaching Application

Active listening has two components: listening and responding reflectively. In coaching, listening is the ability to perceive the expressed idea, concern, perspective, attitude or belief from the client’s point of view without judgment. This includes listening to what the client says and does not say. Responding reflectively is the coach’s ability to reflect back what is heard from the client in an inquisitive manner.

In Christian coaching, the coach listens for another voice – that of the Holy Spirit. God is active in every person’s life and will provide the client evidence of that activity. There is no specific method or strategy that would guarantee hearing the Holy Spirit. Nevertheless, assurance is provided when wisdom and discernment are sought. (Proverbs 20:27; Isaiah 30:21; Luke 11:13; John 16:13; 1 Corinthians 12:13; James 1:5, 15, 19)

The Christian coach listens for what is going on in the client as a whole – body, soul, mind, and spirit – and how these interrelate and influence the client’s life, relationships, and faith. For example, we listen for the client’s sense of identity and for incongruence between words and actions. We listen for beliefs, attitudes, and emotions so that we might bring what we hear to their awareness.

In addition, the CCNI credentialed coach:

  1. Creates space for the client to hear God’s voice.
  2. Recognizes that the client is in the best position to discern God’s activity and voice.
  3. Supports the client in listening deeply and carefully without creating spiritual discord which would detract the client from hearing God’s voice or the client’s own thinking.