Profiles Help Tony Husted Build Credibility Professionally – and Personally
Christian life coach Tony Husted, co-founder of new personal development ministry Awyken, wasn’t always tuned into how others could best use their strengths. Yet today the Leading From Your Strengths profiles are an integral part of Tony’s coaching process, thanks in large part to a deeply personal experience.
“My daughter and I have very different personalities,” says Tony. “During her teen years, we had a tough time communicating.” The conflict between the two was compounded by distance, since Tony’s daughter lived 1,600 miles away with her mother.
At that time Tony was an emerging leader in Christian coaching, a new niche in the personal development arena. He was among the life coaches contacted by Ministry Insights to test drive the Leading From Your Strengths profiles. Professionally, the match proved to be providential fit. The profiles provide personalized data, which in turn Tony uses with his coaching clients.
But as Tony soon learned, the profile experience was quite personal too.
Profile Data Turns a Relationship Around
While Tony is a self-admitted go-getter, his daughter is quiet and reserved. To ease the tension between them and to give his daughter a treat during her visits, he often invited her to eat out. “We would get in the car and I asked her, ‘Where would you like to go for dinner?’” said Tony. “But she didn’t know the city and there were too many choices.” As Tony pressed, his daughter retreated. The pattern repeated itself over and over … and affected other areas of their relationship too. Soon, Tony’s daughter resented her visits with dad and phone communication between them became almost non-existent.
So when Tony completed his profile – and subsequently had his daughter complete the Teen Insights profile assessment – the results were stunning. “I wasn’t simply hit with a ton of bricks,” says Tony. “It was more like a quarry of boulders fell on my head.” Tony’s strong aggressive bent proved to be a stark contrast to his daughter’s reflective approach to solving problems. Their scores lay on complete opposite sides of the spectrum. Tony realized he had been communicating with his daughter in ways that fit his strengths, not hers.
Tony put the data into practice right away. The next time his daughter arrived for a visit he approached their dinner dates differently, giving her a heads-up about 20 minutes before they were to leave and listing 3 or 4 options to choose from. “She made a decision immediately,” says Tony. “She simply needed adequate information in order to choose.” Then as Tony applied the Dos and Don’ts for Communicating and other tools in the profile report, his relationship with his daughter transformed nearly overnight.
Profiles are the Foundation for One-on-One Coaching
That was 10 years ago. While today Tony focuses most of his energies on training new coaches, he continues to work with a small roster of coaching clients drawn from all sectors life – ministry leaders, pastors, professionals, couples, and even other coaches who are building their practices. Then as now, the profile is the basis for Tony’s one-on-one coaching. A client completes the assessment and processes the data with Tony before addressing deeper issues. The profiles provide the foundation for what comes next.
“What the world calls coaching, the Bible calls disciple-making,” says Tony. “Both coaching and disciple-making are about helping people make life choices that bring about a more God-filled life.” The difference, Tony explains, is that coaching offers a personalized approach to applying biblical principles – one that speaks to the individual’s strengths. For instance, a sermon’s message may offer a prescriptive application suited for a predictable personality, but what about the person whose strength is dynamic? When Christ-followers know their strengths, they can better apply biblical teaching to their lives. A coach can facilitate that process.
“Coaching changes the way we do ministry,” says Tony. He envisions coach in every church trained to equip others to find their strengths and live them out biblically.
Profiles Help Facilitate Coaching the Coaches
That vision to train large numbers of Christian life coaches led Tony and Awyken co-founder Ed Smith to sponsor an upcoming Leading From Your Strengths conference and launch Awyken’s two inaugural programs: the Christian Coaching Professional Certification (for leaders, pastors, life coaches, and counselors who want to add coaching to their skill set) and a the first-ever Christian Life Coaching Lay Certification (equipping any Christ-follower to use coaching in informal ministry, including small groups, worship support, children’s ministry, or administrative work.)
Tony often explains to new coaches why the Leading From Your Strengths profile provides credibility: in a field that provides the intangible benefits of personal development, the profile report provides tangible feedback. Coaches can use a new client’s profile data as bridge into first conversations and can immediately interact with the client in a style that is comfortable for him. The process reduces the learning curve in the new coach-client relationship and gets the relationship off on accurate and strong footing.
Profile Effects Prove to Be Long-Lasting
Yet no matter how often Tony has seen how the profiles bring about life transformation in clients and coaching students, his most memorable experience in discovering strengths is his own.
His relationship with his daughter continues to thrive. After high school, she chose to leave her Midwestern city to enroll in a university just ten minutes from her dad’s home – and following graduation, she opted to remain in the area near Tony.
“The profiles completely changed the way I communicate with her,” says Tony. “It transformed our relationship.”