Goal Setting. Your role as the coach is to develop and maintain an effective coaching plan with the client. You are there to

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1 Goal Setting Your role as the coach is to develop and maintain an effective coaching plan with the client. You are there to Brainstorm with the client to define actions that will enable the client to demonstrate, practice and deepen new learnings Engage the client to explore alternative ideas and solutions, to evaluate options, and to make related decisions Challenge the client s assumptions and perspectives to provoke new ideas and find new possibilities for action Encourage stretches and challenges Consolidate collected information and establish with the client a coaching plan Create a plan with results that are attainable, measurable, specific and have target dates Assist the client to make plan adjustments as needed by the coaching process and by changes to the situation Identify early successes to assist the client to build momentum Beyond the goal setting, you are also there to Keep the client on track with their chosen goals Promote self-discipline and hold the client accountable for what they say they are going to do Assist the client to develop their ability to make decisions and address key concerns in a resourceful way Positively confront the client with the fact that they did not take agreed-upon actions Coaching is about assisting your client to move from where they are to where they want to be and to do this there are some simple models to assist. 1

2 S.M.A.R.T. Goal Setting The SMART Model is often used to assist your clients in setting goals. S SIMPLE Keep the goals simple and focused, rather than wordy and vague Be specific with what is to be achieved the more specific the better M MEASURABLE Make sure the achievement of this goal is measurable ie ask the question How will you know you ve achieved this goal? What will be different once this is accomplished? A ATTRACTIVE The goal must be appealing to the client not just for the short term, but the long term also As if now state the goal as if it is already achieved, with the date stating the date of successful achievement of the goal R REALISTIC The goal needs to be achievable ie tennis champion in two years having never played and in their forties would not be attainable T TIMED Stated as if it s done Know when it will be achieved FOR EXAMPLE It is Christmas 2009 and I am at Anglesea beach, toasting my success as a coach with 20 clients who all appreciate my service and pay $200 per hour, on time and happily and I love what I do. 2

3 More on Goals Central to coaching is what the client is going to do differently, more of, less of and what action they will take that will precipitate the change they seek. This means you need to ask at the end and during the session Would you like to do that? Is that something you would like to commit to? Explored more fully in Getting Started Sometimes when a client commits to a goal or course of action, there will be some underlying fears they will need to deal with, and they may not even be aware of them. Sometimes there is secondary gain a benefit derived from not changing that needs to be dealt with also. The path needs to be reasonably clear of these obstacles for the client to success in achieving their goals. Fears A fear does not have to be rational, or even reasonable. If it s real for the client, then that is enough for it to need dealing with. If you notice hesitance in the client around a commitment, ask Is there something around this we need to look at? Notice the question is open enough that the client can share anything that comes up as a result, rather than just sharing a fear. Maybe their uncertainty was a new awareness of just how powerful they truly are, rather than fear, so don t imagine hesitance is always fear. Sometimes it will be fear. Ask Can we look at how to best resolve this in your mind? or How do you see yourself moving through this / letting this go / managing this? Another way to assist the client is to ask the Cartesian co-ordinate questions What will happen if you do this? What won t happen if you do this? What will happen if you don t do this? What won t happen if you don t do this? The section on Beliefs in the Advanced Skills manual offers more insights into this topic 3

4 Secondary gain Secondary gain is a payoff or benefit that the client perceives (consciously or unconsciously) they get from continuing a course of action or non action. It can sometimes lead to self sabotaging behaviour. For example, the client really wants to go for the promotion, and arrives late to all the interviews. They say they really want it, but coaching reveals that they feel safer not getting the promotion, and they actually feared the consequences of all the extra responsibility. A good insight to share with a client is We all do what works for us on some level. Everything. THE CLIENT WILL OFTEN SAY BUT THIS DOESN T WORK! PERSIST. Have certainty that we all do what works on some level. Every action and choice gives us something that we believe we need. Often a choice to not act looks like laziness, and it is inevitably due to fear of change, and the secondary gain is that they get to stay safe through not changing. Share this insight with clients where it is relevant. It adds a new level of awareness to their understanding of why they do what they do. So many people get trapped and caught up in trying to figure out why they do what they do, and why they didn t do something, and why they sabotaged something you can save they a whole lot of thinking! For many clients, it s a relief to realise that their choices were for a positive intention to protect them. Ask your client Now that you know you were only wanting to keep yourself safe, what real risk is there in taking this course of action? Generally, there is little real risk at all. For more on this, look at the pain pleasure model for creating leverage. 4

5 Alternative choices Sometimes there is a number of choices the client needs/wants to make. The simple perception of too many choices can hamper progress for the client. To assist the client to decide, ask them to make smaller decisions and commit to smaller actions, rather than the all or nothing approach which many clients think they need to do. ALL OF NOTHING TENDS TO RESULT IN NOTHING HAPPENING, BECAUSE THE ALL SEEMS SO BIG AND DIFFICULT TO ACHIEVE. For more on this, see the Kaizen section in the Advanced Skills manual. Brainstorm with the client the various options and have them prioritise them in order of importance. Importance can be assessed on time, desire, urgency, benefits to the client, benefits to others, short term gain, medium and long term gain, and how the desired choices fit into the broader context of the client s life and vision. Often the choice becomes clearer once they focus on what is most in alignment with their values. It can also be assisted by choosing based on importance and urgency, rather than just importance. Another approach is to have the client make small commitments to action in a number of different priorities, so they can get a sense of progress across different areas of their life. This can be rewarding, if they can do it, because they begin to collect reference points for success and that means successfully acting becomes easier as they go along. Don t dismiss any choice because you don t see its relevance. It s your client s perception of importance and urgency that counts. Check in for obstacles that may occur, either in the client s thoughts or in reality. This is covered in the GROW Model. If you see something that could benefit the client, and they haven t noticed it, share it with an easy and relaxed tone, so they are free to reject it if they don t see it fit it in. learn to let go of strong attachment to your suggestions, and that way the client will be more willing to consider them! If you see a clear pathway the client has not considered, share it by saying something like I m wondering if this approach is a possibility as we go forward If you see a bigger picture they haven t considered, share with them I m wondering how this might fit in with your goal of owning your own business in the next few months 5

6 Distractions when goal setting The client will sometimes have a goal setting strategy that includes throwing everything into the pot, including the irrelevant, and wondering why they don t act! They include everything from their childhood, a chance conversation, stuff that s got them busy in work rather than getting caught up in this clutter, be a guide for your client by assisting them to focus on what counts. What do we need to consider when making this one decision? What can we leave out? How can we narrow our focus? What s distracting us? What s the top three important parts of this decision? What would someone who had already done this focus on? What could you leave out? Invite your client to notice their strategy of overwhelming their senses with all the noise and encourage them to design and use a simply strategy in the coaching session itself. By them trying it on in the session, they will have evidence of clear thinking and its benefits, and thus be more likely to want to do it again. The more they practice this clear thinking in the sessions with you, with encouragement and feedback and guidance, the more likely they will be to have positive experiences of this strategy when they go and apply it in their everyday life. Stretch your client when they attempt this, even if they are uncomfortable. Anything new, unless we are practiced experiencing new, will feel uncomfortable. This is normal and you need to be certain than their doubt about the effectiveness of trying something new. 6

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