This is a first important step, usually in the initial stages of the coaching journey. In goal setting, there are usually 3 goals to consider:
The aspirational goal, which is the overarching goal for our coaching relationship, addresses what is the ultimate goal or what will be really achieved at the end of the coaching program and should entail a highly ambitious goal that breaks new ground for you, the client.
The session goals are specific to every session, but add to or support the aspirational goal.
The action goals are basically, action points for you, the client to undertake following each session, which also adds to the aspirational goal.
Therefore, the goal(s) underpin all conversations and guide actions towards the desired outcome. It is flexible to change with personal issues or work commitments in mind, but the overarching aspirational goal remains unchanged throughout.
Setting a goal isn’t as easy as it sounds as it needs to be a SMART one. It needs to be specific, measurable, achievable and realistic within the allocated timeframe. A goal should offer tangible and intangible benefits, in that you gain a promotion and/or develop a growth mindset as a result.
However, the goal shouldn’t detract from the process. It is not the destination but the journey that matters. This principle, basically, applies to life in general.
To illustrate this point my clients typically set a goal of wanting to increase confidence at work in order to be visible and valued. It’s a common goal and a noble one too. However, it is also important to take into consideration a client's personality type to ensure that their personal goals enhances their qualities and not the opposite. But in light of goal setting, to build confidence it would be more beneficial to encourage the client to chose a goal that enhances their strengths and this often means accepting who they are, not having to fit in is a good thing. Most introverts are uniquely creative and what they lack in vocals, they have in an abundance of creative juices. Personality types will be covered in a later post.
I have also discovered that goals are well and good, but coaching is not a linear process and there will be some twists and turns along the way. In fact, what you gain is far more than what you set out to do. You develop a growth mindset and renewed confidence. And a growth mindset equips them for the valleys and troughs and lows experienced at work and other areas of life. Confidence is a by-product, like discipline and resilience.All of which come together wonderfully in the end but also lasts longer after the lingering effect of coaching subsides.
Goals help to keep the focus and guide the client’s journey, it’s always a good point of reference for feedback and evaluation.
Perhaps another invaluable insight to share is that setting up an aspirational goal also requires one to dig deep to answer some really hard questions like - Who are you? What drives/motivates you? What brings you joy? What is the biggest need or challenge right now? Why is this goal more important right now? What difference will it make?
The spotlight is on you and for some, this is incredibly intimidating if not prepared. But most clients are usually ready for that next 'big' step! So they might know all the answers except for the one main one - Who are you? And they hope to find the answers along the way.
I hope this post offers a glimmer of hope and sparks interest in my readers. If you're ready for a new adventure or experience, try out coaching - it might be the best and biggest investment you made in yourself this year. We either win or learn, right?!