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The Where, Why, How -Powerful Planning and goal Setting

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[MUSIC PLAYING] Hi. This is Marilena Minucci, and welcome to this Coaching Skills Segment-- the where, why, and how of powerful planning and goal-setting. So let's dive right in. One of the objectives of coaching, as you may know, is to really help the client get from their current situation or state to a more desired situation or state. This goal or the destination really defines the work ahead for us. We help the clients build a bridge from point A to point B, and we do it as efficiently and effectively as possible. We know, along the way, there are going to be detours, and there might even be a change in destination because goals will change as people go through the process and they further progress. Either way, we begin with the end in mind. And then we create the map or the plan on how to get there. So I'm going to warn you-- this may force you to get a little creative. Are you ready to take it on? So it might force you to depart from your original six-month program. It might force you to customize it for your target market or for one client. It might even force you to create an entire new program for someone. It's all up to you. The important thing is to really remain flexible as a coach and to really meet the client where they are. When the client first comes in, you're going to be using all those wonderful tools that you've been learning-- active listening, reflection, and using key questions. You're going to be exploring and getting clear with the client on specific things that they want to accomplish. The more specific, the better. Clients can come in sometimes very clear, and they're very motivated. They know what they want, and they've seen your program perhaps. And they're like, "I want that. That's exactly what I want." Or they know something else that they want. And they're very clear, and they let you know. Other clients come in, and they have got too many goals and they really need help prioritizing. I had a client once come to me with a list of 30 things she wanted to get done in a month. I mean, that's one thing a day. So I had a call her on it. I knew that we were further along in the coaching relationship that I could just say, "Look. Given the obligations that I know you've told me that you have, how likely is this to be completed?" So It's better to have a shorter list than fall short on a longer list. We want to set clients up to experience completion and success. When's the last time you really experienced the joy of completing something? I know we love checking things off on our to-do list. Now, recently, I issued a 90-day challenge to a bunch of coaches. Pick one program, one project, one thing to focus on for 90 days. And do you know how much pushback I got, how hard a time people had? They just couldn't focus on that one thing. But what about everything else? We know now-- research tells us-- multitasking does not work. What works is single-minded focus, as Joshua says. Single-minded focus takes us the fastest and the farthest. Other clients are going to come in to you, and they're going to be completely unclear about what they want or how to get there. So it's critical here that you, as the coach, start to really do that active listening. Listen deeply. Vague goals that come up like, "Hey. I want to eat better. I want to feel better," that's not helpful to you or the client. That's not a way to really create a map, so we want to help them get clear and specific. So here are some great questions, some quantum questions that you can ask them so that they can clarify their goals. "So what do you want or don't you want?" "Where is your pain?" "Where is your passion?" "What do you want to do to move forward?" "What don't you want to do to move forward?" "What are you willing to do?" "What do you want to move toward?" "What do you want to move away from?" "What is your current availability to work on this?" It's important that they have a clear schedule, that they're ready to commit to this work. It may not be the right time. And check in. What is their level of commitment? What could get in the way? Who could get in the way? And who, actually, could support them? Sometimes, it's really important to know that they have a team of people who can support them, and you're not their only support. But whatever it is, we need to know what it is to get started. On a scale of 1 to 10, how meaningful is this to you? On a scale of 1 to 10, how confident are you? These are great conversation starters, and it's going to give you the ability to get in there and help the client get clear. So as important as choosing a goal or a destination is, it's also important to understand the why. Why now? "Why" is all about the motivation. So you're going to want to ask them, "What or who is motivating you to do this now?" "What or who is motivating you the most?" What will be the three things that I know that I can bring up to you that I could tap into to help you rebuild momentum, should you start to slow down. And how will you know you have succeeded? What will that look like? Let's get that picture, nice and crystal clear. I heard a coach at an IIN conference not that long ago talk about her motivation to lose weight. And it came at the day her toddler ran into the street, and she was too heavy. She couldn't run after him to catch him. Now, that was a picture I saw very clearly in my mind, and I know that that same picture drove her every single day to stay on her path toward her goal. That's what I would call real motivation. So now, let's talk about the actual goal-setting. Some coaches, they'll spend a whole session on this, and I'm going to tell you-- whatever time you spend on this, it's totally worth it. And it's going to provide a framework for the coaching and the accountability that you're going to set up later on. So you never want to skip this part. Do keep the process simple, however. And clients might resist this because they don't want to really be pinned down on their goals, but it's important to explain why it's important. It's important for them to understand that this is going to set the map for our work together. And the more clear they are on their goals, the more likely they are to succeed. The research really bears that out. So in order to keep the process simple, you can try using something like SMART goals. In my book, SMART stands for "S"-- super specific-- "M"-- magically measurable-- "A"-- actually attainable-- "R"-- really relevant-- and "T"-- time targeted. And that's really important. SMART goals are going to be absolutely clear. Crystal clear. So with SMART goals, rather than saying, "Hey, I want to lose weight," we might formulate a SMART goal to sound like, "I want to lose 25 pounds in the course of my six-month program so that I can start to feel more confident about looking for a new job in the fall." So it's very specific. It's very measurable-- talking about 25 pounds. It seems very attainable and very possible-- over the course of six months. That's time targeted. And it's very relevant, because this person has got a very specific goal of looking their best when they start looking for a new job in the fall. So another example. Rather than just saying, "Hey, I want to get back to the gym," that sounds nice. That's good. But what are you going to do? What's the specific SMART goal that's going to get you there? So I want to reintroduce exercise into my life by practicing yoga one time per week and working with a personal trainer three times a week in the next six months. This is a pretty intense plan. But four times a week, they're going to be doing something to move themselves forward and get back into the gym. Again, it's very specific. It's measurable. There are days. There are times involved. People have a plan for how they're going to do this. It's very attainable, if their schedule is clear, and it's relevant because it really has meaning for them because they want to get back into shape. These goals meet the criteria of a SMART goal, and they are so much clearer. So at some of the top predictors of client success are the level of the detail of the goals. The deeper we get into it, the more specific it is, the better it is. Written down, kept top of mind, find ways to keep it top of mind and visible to people so they can't hide it and they don't forget about it. We'll talk more about that later, but there has to be a bigger vision connected to the goal. And we want to have people stay in touch with their vision, stay in touch with their motivation. So for example, there was a coach once who told me that they wanted to get fit enough to be able to handle the elevation at Machu Picchu. They wanted to lead retreats there, but they knew it was a little challenging for them, physically. So this person put together their plan to get fit, and they kept photos of Machu Picchu everywhere in their house-- on the fridge, in their car, on the bathroom mirror, in the bedroom mirror. Everywhere was a reminder that this was the reason that they were doing this plan. So time up front really exploring what's really relevant, the reason why the motivation, it really taps into the importance and the meaning and the motivation and can keep the person going. Builds that momentum, and keeps it going. It gets to what fires them up. It gives them the fuel for the journey, and it's what you need and they need to tap into when they step off the path sometimes, which is a normal part of the change process. They might lose momentum. They might slow down, but these are the kinds of things that will get their juices flowing again. So let's talk a little bit now about the how-- or a.k.a., the plan. And so coaching is client-centered. They lead the dance. We may be very tempted to give advice. It's so easy. We can certainly point out information. We can certainly share a resource or we can certainly brainstorm some possible steps, but in the end, we need to follow their enthusiasm and their energy. So for example, maybe you weren't going to plan to talk about exercise until session five and we're on session three. And the client comes in and they're like so excited because they just signed up for the gym and it's a great new and they can't wait to take the classes. Well, guess what the recommendations are going to be today? You're going to rearrange to follow their passion. A client needs to follow that passion path. Because if they follow other peoples' agendas-- the "oughts," the "shoulds," or even the advice given by the coach-- and by the way, you remember, we are not in the advice business. Right? If they do that, their momentum is going to die out really quickly. Most people really know what to do. They just need support in doing it consistently. And once they sort of break free and they're going with the flow, we want them to keep going with that. That's where we come in. It's our support. So my question to you is-- how are you going to support the client to be consistent in action over time, especially if you're not going to be in the fix-it business, if you're not doing their work? You want to hold the space so they empower themselves. We don't empower the client. They empower themselves. That's a really important distinction. They empower themselves to take responsibility and take action. That's one of the goals of coaching-- is to help people take increased responsibility for all aspects of their lives and then to take action to follow through. So the plan is going to consist of their journey on a daily, weekly, monthly basis. It's going to include your coaching. It's going to include the education and information that you share with them. It's going to include the experiences that they have trying different things, learning different things, and the celebration of mileposts that are met along the way. One of the most powerful components of the plan, however, is accountability. Stephen Covey once said that "Accountability breeds responsibility." You like that? And we said that one of the overarching goals is to help people increase their level of responsibility. So you have to discuss with clients how this will work for them. They think it's like school. It's going to be like punishment if they don't do something, but it doesn't have to be like that. Accountability is something that they can create with you. It actually can be fun, especially if there's celebration attached to it. And it actually can be fun if, for some reason, there's a step backwards, and we're able to process it with them as a step forward, as a learning moment, as a coachable moment. So they can email you. They can text you. You can do accountability in person. However it works. There was a coach that I knew of or I heard of who actually used to make his clients write a check to their opposing political party, and he would threaten to mail it unless the person completed their tasks. Whatever works. Just remember, it's not about carrot and stick necessarily. It's not about the client's shame. It's not about shaming them in any way. It just means we're going to look at these coachable, teachable moments, help tweak the plan, and continue to support the client. So minimally, they're going to be checking in with you every session. However you both agree to it. A good plan is going to allow for the ebb and flow of life. That means clients have got full-time jobs. They've got children. They've got elderly parents. They've got other obligations. And yes, we're trying to help them make their goals more top-of-mind, but life does happen. So a good plan is going to sort of have some flexibility, some breathing space. You might make the steps more incremental. You might make the action steps tinier. You might have backup plans. So if they can't go to the gym Monday, Wednesday, Friday, they can't make it Friday, maybe they'll go Saturday instead. There might need to be more accountability between sessions. A good plan also takes into account valid interruptions-- these things that happen-- but it also deals with procrastination head on. Much self-sabotage begins when clients drop down on their to-do lists because they've decided that's easier. Because sometimes, even as coaches, we get more of a hit helping other people. We get more satisfaction taking care of other people. It almost seems easier to do that-- to put our attention on everyone else and take the attention away from ourselves. Sometimes, when change becomes too real and people realize, hey, these changes might actually mean other changes in my life, and that could be a little scary. So that might be when the self-sabotage starts. So we've got to explore all these things and have meaningful conversations with our clients. It doesn't have to be hard. It just needs to be said. Sometimes, we just put it on the table. That's all it takes to release the fear about it, and that's all we need to move forward. So now, imagine if you feel nervous and excited coaching, your clients are also going to be nervous and excited about the changes that are happening and about doing a good job. Things might be changing in their lives in a way that they couldn't even imagine and it might be scary and it just might be thrilling to them. There are going to be days that they fall off and days that they come back on track, and this is a normal expected part of the process. And it is not ever serving the clients when someone steps off the track and we let it go. You know? It's not about that. Again, because if they're not feeling punished, we're missing an opportunity in that moment for the client to get some insight that they could use to create a new pattern for moving forward. So here are a few more of my questions to consider. So when someone is stuck, we ask them, "Where do you feel stuck?" "What in your environment interfered with your progress?" And this is an opportunity for them to really see-- where are they being supported? Where aren't they being supported? Where are the energy leaks? What in yourself interfered with your progress? It's important for them to understand what their inner thinking is, what their mechanisms are that tripped that switch, and then they kind of stall out. If you could do it again, what would you do differently. Right? Hindsight's a great teacher. Well, I might have had a different plan. I might have had more support. I might have just not done that and done something different. Or maybe I should have known better, but it's not about "should have," "would have," "could have." It's about finding out-- what are we going to do from here forward? So this discussion is going to help the client be better informed on all fronts. They're going to learn more about their triggers and their patterns, and they're going to learn about making different choices in the future. And this is all part-- just a beautiful part-- of the coaching process. Again, it's never about blame or shame because the client probably already does enough of that on their own. They probably think we're blaming them or shaming them or judging them. But when they realize that we're not going to have that reaction, it can be so freeing for the client. It's something for you, as the coach, to experience yourself when you have your own setbacks. When you want to go into that blame or shame place, try loving yourself up, giving yourself a little breathing space instead, and see how that feels. By interrupting the pattern of shame and blame and not beating yourself up, again, this is when coaching works the best. The plan and the goals that you set, they may be flawless, but they're not worth anything if it doesn't work for the client. Like, look, I can eat kale, and you can kale. And it may or not work for either one of us. So you got to be open. You've got to be open to new goals, to new strategies, and you've got to let your clients set their sights on new horizons if that's the way their journey is taking them. This is an organic process. You're co-creating it with your client. You're the co-journeyer, the guide-on-the-side, as Joshua always says. Be on the lookout, but allow them to drive. You can point things out, but let them decide where we're going. It's the masterful coach who understands that it's not just about getting a client from point A to point B but helping them find their own way and helping them enjoy and learn from their own journey and letting them let it take them where they want to go and maybe to places that they could never imagine. Until next time, Go Quantum! In your coaching. Thanks. [MUSIC PLAYING]

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Duration: 18 minutes and 36 seconds
Language: English
Genre: None
Views: 7
Posted by: ninaz on Nov 5, 2014

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