3 min read

Owning the Powerful Distinction: ‘It’s Not About Me, It’s About the Product.’

Owning the Powerful Distinction: ‘It’s Not About Me, It’s About the Product.’

A Think Queerly Podcast IDEA(tion) Coaching session with queer creator, Jon Carl Lewis — TQ210

It’s time for something new on the Think Queerly Podcast. I’m excited to bring you what I plan to be a once-a-month feature episode in which I coach one of my clients — raw, unscripted, and unplanned. If you ever wondered how I coach, or what it’s like to be coached, I know you will enjoy these episodes.

Coaching is not about telling someone what to do. It’s also not about accountability or trying to motivate someone to accomplish their goals. Instead, really great coaching is about helping my clients get clarity, focus, direction, strategy, and support. My role is to help my clients discover these insights on their own and create neuro-associations based on what they already know and what they are emotionally aligned with practicing or accomplishing (the secret to motivation).

Recently, a friend asked me how I would coach someone.

It’s not the easiest question to answer because there is no definitive answer. There is only being in the moment with the person I am working with — being aware and listening very care-fully and thoughtfully.

It’s just as important to listen for what is not said — how someone avoids answering a direct question, or dances around the answer. I sometimes have to trust my instinct based on what I see in my client’s face and movements, their tone of voice and pacing, and how I feel (emotional attunement) in response to what they say. Also knowing when to ask a challenging or provocative question is a humane skill that takes time to master.

Yet, perhaps the most critical and easily recognizable skill that I offer is that of no judgment. The person sitting across from me must feel safe, seen, and heard. They should feel like they can share their deepest thoughts and fears with me, without discomfort, so that they can get resolution and clarity around their challenges.

This is what I trust you will see or hear today during this IDEAtion Coaching session with Jon Carl Lewis. In him, you will witness a wonderful example of what Human(e) Thought Leadership looks like.

Jon Carl shares with me that he has struggled with publishing his ideas based on two fears.

The first fear is the subject that he writes about, the sexual and relational practices of Queer, Christian men. What held him back was being condemned as a gay man by society for being a sexual being, which led to gay shame. Essentially, when he wanted to talk about gay male sexuality and Christianity, he'd feel the shame that 'you can't talk about these things.'

His second fear is rooted in dropping out of seminary three times. As a result, he never felt qualified as an academic and a researcher. He would always need to rely on other people's research before he can say anything of value. When he had previously given a presentation to his cohort, his experience and feeling was something like, 'I'm going to prove myself to them.'

Recently, he gave another presentation that went well. He wasn't dependent on others to support the ideas that he shared. He felt like he had connected with his inner authority, and that he got his ego out of the way. I asked him, "What was the dominant feeling or hedonic tone when you were presenting?" He replied, "I felt joy. I was in the flow. I realized that it's not about me, it's about the product."

Listen or watch the Think Queerly Podcast:

About Jon Carl Lewis

Jon Carl Lewis is a spiritual director and writer interested in the intersections and overlaps between the spiritual life, and the sexual and relational practices of Queer, Christian men. A three-time seminary dropout and a graduate of Princeton University, he is currently working on a book proposal for Westminster John Knox Press for Queer Christians seeking to integrate their sexuality and spirituality. Find out more at the Sex & the Gay Christian website at http://sexgaychristian.com.

Jon Carl was featured earlier this year on episode 180 of the Think Queerly Podcast, Sex and the Gay Christian with Jon Carl Lewis.

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