Balancing the Big Picture with the Fine Detail – Outcome & Process Goals
When coaching clients – and observing our new coaches exploring the coaching process – I am always fascinated by the relationship between Outcome goals (the ‘big picture’, the ‘why’ of someone wanting something) and Process goals (the specific actions and processes they need to carry out in order to achieve the required outcome).
Sometimes a client comes to coaching with what seems like a clear idea of what they want to work on. Like my client who wanted to go to the gym more regularly. For sure this was a description of the action he was going to take (Process), but it was not initially clear what he really wanted to gain from the experience (Outcome).
If we only coach at the process level of a goal, we miss an opportunity to really connect the client with what is driving them to fulfil their goal. Questions like “What excites you about this goal?” and “What will that give you?” help both coach and client to us explore the desired outcome behind the goal.
Continuing with the example of my client above, we established that the initial outcome of going to the gym more regularly was to lose weight. But this in itself was only a means to an ends. The outcome behind ‘losing weight’ was to feel more sexy and attractive. And the desired outcome behind ‘feeling more sexy and attractive’ was meeting a potential new partner!
Now coaching can’t guarantee that you’re going to meet the love of your life, but it’s interesting to note that what started as a fairly straightforward goal was connected to a much bigger picture.
If the stated goal does not hold much excitement for the client, if it’s only being met in the ‘process’ state, then exploring the outcome might just help them find the ‘va va voom’ to take action! When we can help our client connect their desired outcome with the actions they take to achieve it, there will be a much greater energy towards the goal and therefore commitment to its achievement.
However, this doesn’t mean that process goals don’t have an important place as we work towards our outcome. There’s a real value to having indicators that we are moving in the right direction – and the opportunity of some victories along the way. Sometimes the outcome is simply out of our hands – but the process is always within our control.
For example, for 2010 I have a goal of improving my skills in public speaking. At the beginning of the year I joined Toastmasters, a public speaking organisation, and I now deliver speeches on a regular basis. One of the measures I have for my improvement is to win the ‘best speaker award’ whenever I speak – and I have entered several speaking competitions to really challenge myself in this area. However, on the day I have no control over who the other speakers are and how good they are. And in fact I have already missed that outcome a number of times over! But the process of continually putting myself “out there” and of improving my speaking skills every time I do, means that I enjoy every step of the way.Filed Under Transformational Coaching
The power of ripples
Maybe there’s a moment in any business that as an owner you are hit with the realisation that you’re on the right path. That you’re doing exactly what you’re meant to be doing. It hits you like a warm, fuzzy, happy sledgehammer.
For me that moment came on my birthday which was conveniently tied in with a boat party on the Thames and a graduation night for coaches who qualified in 2010.
As I stood to make my speech to a room of wonderful people I saw faces old and new. From the familiar faces of people who joined my school way back when I first created it to the new faces of those who are just about to join the school and take their own journey into coaching. Read moreFiled Under From the Director's Chair
How to discover the real challenge of a client’s goal faster, easier and with greater results
In coaching we are almost invariably dealing at some level with achieving goals. However, what is clear is that someone only seeks coaching if there is a challenge, problem or issue with their goal. Think about it, if achieving their goal was easy and effortless then coaching would be pretty superfluous for that client.
Obvious as this may sound, it’s important to think about this since many coaches plough in to coaching a client on their goal unclear as to what the challenge is that makes coaching necessary in the first place! Clients often obligingly answer the coach’s increasingly irrelevant questions because they assume the coach is the expert! The poor client may never get to the real heart of their challenge.
So, let’s look at 7 simple but extremely effective questions that help you find what the real challenge is as often and as easily as possible. Read moreFiled Under Transformational Coaching
Seven Top Tips For Growing A Profitable Coaching Business
I have met many coaches over the years. Some build a successful coaching practice, others simply qualify and never quite seem to get off the ground, yet others simply give up the ghost almost immediately because they don’t know where to start with building a business.
Let me say this: it’s not the fault of coaching as an industry or a career! I think it’s because, traditionally, people drawn to become coaches aren’t experienced business people or entrepreneurs. They have been drawn to coaching to help people and to use their people skills.
The business side is something many coaches shy away from. Well, that’s ok if you don’t want to earn money from coaching. But if you do, if you want a successful practice, then the business aspect of coaching is an essential part of what you must learn and put to work.
Thankfully, like almost anything else these skills can be learned. You don’t have to be born a natural entrepreneur or have genetically gifted business acumen if such a thing exists!
You do however need to commit yourself to learning and using business skills.
This article is by no means comprehensive about what is needed but these seven tips will give you a great starting point if you really want to be successful. Read moreFiled Under From the Director's Chair
Getting to Grips with the Coaching Session Goal
It’s so tempting for a coach, on hearing a nice straightforward sounding goal (whether it’s more money in the bank account or de-cluttering a home!), to rush in and start coaching the client to an action plan straight away.
But pretty soon into the coaching process, both coach and client will find themselves in strange and uncertain territories where neither are completely sure what they are talking about or referring to. The goal seems so large, with so many constituent elements, that they are not sure which one they are discussing or which has priority.
The easiest way to regain focus and move forward, is for the coach to simply ask the client – “What would you like to get out of this session?” Read moreFiled Under Transformational Coaching
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