by Jeff Tunnell
My friend Debbie Shuck-Mills was getting married at Duke Chapel and I had the privilege of conducting part of the ceremony. With the rehearsal completed we traveled to the rehearsal dinner being hosted in a historic North Carolina home. Debbie was late arriving to the dinner and this became a topic of discussion among her closest friends. I listened in as they each told a story of when Debbieâ€™s chronic tardiness had affected them in some way or another.
To my surprise and delight the stories all concluded with similar sentiments: all of her friends were very accepting of her being late because she was â€œso very present in the momentâ€. When she was with you, it was as though you were the only person alive on the planet. She would not leave you for another appointment until she had a certainty that her relationship with you â€˜in the momentâ€™ was as full as possible. Each one knew that she would only be late because she was pouring herself into the relationship in front of her.
Joel Comiskeyâ€™s article here on the website â€œFriendship: The Simple Secret of Coachingâ€ gives us a similar conclusion from principles in Jesusâ€™ life. The adage â€˜people donâ€™t care how much you know, until they know how much you careâ€™ is powerful insight for the coaching relationship.
As Joel says, â€œYou must first win the leader through a caring friendship, everything else will flow naturally.â€