Having clear coaching goals are very important for a robust coaching process. Often coaches start their coaching process without having a clear idea of their goals. This deviates them from their path and leads to unproductive outcomes.
For every coach, the first step is to define the coaching goals and techniques to achieve them.
Are you unsure of the coaching goals that you must have?
Do you want to know the techniques that you should apply to achieve those goals?
If your answer is a ‘YES’ then you are in the right place.
In this article, we are going to discuss some common coaching goals irrespective of the coaching niche. We will also discuss the techniques to achieve these common coaching goals. By the end, you will have a clear idea of the goals that you should include in your goal checklist.
Common Coaching Goals that Every Coach Must Know
Coaches get clients that have dilemmas and unclear objectives. A good coach always strives to bring clarity to their clients. Often the clients are not sure about their aspirations and desires. With the help of coaching sessions, the coaches help the clients to gain clarity.
As a coach, you should direct your efforts and time towards analyzing the client’s situation. Your goal should be helping your clients to understand what are their true desires. You should be able to uncover the layers and remove disbelief and false hopes of the clients. With every coaching session, your clients should gain clear thoughts and action items.
You can read about clarity coaches who help people to gain clarity in their objectives.
Often coaches get clients who are depressed. Some clients lack a support system from family/friends. Such clients lose all hopes from themselves and they believe they are good for nothing. Recovery coaches specifically get many clients who lose all their hopes. They find it difficult to regain their actual personalities.
As a coach, one of your prime coaching goals should be to build confidence in your clients. Your coaching sessions should involve confidence-building exercises. Thes exercises should be according to the client’s unique situation and not generic in nature.
Also, language, tone, and attitude should ignite the spark of confidence in the clients. Learn some confidence-boosting tips to use during your coaching sessions.
Are your clients self-aware? Do they know clearly about themselves and their situations?
What are the strengths and weaknesses of your clients?
What kind of personality your clients are?
What is the situation around the clients? Who all are in the picture?
What is the current reality? How have the steps taken in the past affected the clients?
Self-awareness is one of the most important coaching goals. Only when a client is aware of the present version of themselves and their situation, they can improve it to achieve a certain transformation. Self-awareness not only includes awareness about the person but also the situation that the person is into.
Creating self-awareness is a coaching goal that is difficult to achieve. Often clients may not be so vocal. They may not have a complete understanding of themselves and their situations. In such cases, it becomes a challenge for coaches to dive deep and show clients their current reality. But, once this is done then the source point can be clearly defined. After this, the coach can decide how to direct the coaching process to reach the destination point from the source point.
Creating an action plan that ensures results
The list of your common coaching goals will be incomplete without an action plan. The action plan of a coach is the greatest tool that determines the success of the clients and hence that of the coach.
The action plan should be oriented towards the client’s situation. It shouldn’t be very rigorous and at the same time should also pull the clients out of their comfort zone. A detailed action plan consists of all the steps for the holistic improvement of the client’s current version.
The action plan should be result oriented. Each step that you include should drive the client towards the transformation that they want to achieve. Remember, your client is trusting you. If at a later stage, they realize that they took all the steps but couldn’t get the benefits, it would be a big failure!
Your goal should be to tailor the action plan according to the client. If you previously had similar clients, you can include steps that have been tried and tested before. If you are dealing with a client whose situation is entirely new for you, you must be very careful. Try to research and even talk with domain experts/friends etc. to understand what would be the best as per the client’s situation.
Your goal should be to build a failure-proof action plan.
Keeping the clients on track
It is not easy for the clients to follow the action plan. Often you will see clients missing their coaching sessions and ignoring your phone calls. Clients won’t realize that the coaching process takes time to show benefits. You as a coach must convey this to them.
Others may find it difficult to follow the steps correctly. This happens because of their habits and nature. As a coach, one of your coaching goals is to ensure that your client is on the path of improvement. Undoubtedly, this will take time and you must provide your client enough time. Stay with the clients and tell them to keep trying to change the habits and behavioral dynamics that have been hurdles in their path.
If the clients go off-track, try identifying the causes and consequences. Share these with your clients. Also, share what all good can happen if the client follows the action plan with dedication. Encourage the clients to follow the action steps with a determined attitude.
A coach always knows how important it is to boost the morale of the clients. Some words of appreciation and tap on the back for the efforts can motivate anyone to a great extent. Out of all the coaching goals, this is the one that every coach should achieve.
The attitude of the coaches matters a lot here. Remember, that your clients will fail. Some may not even try because of the fear of failures. Others may try but may not succeed. These might be the clients who aren’t getting enough support from their friends/family. This is the reason why they have come to you. You are their only hope and they believe that you will show them the right path to achieve what they desire.
If you do not support them enough, they won’t be left with any hopes.
Give the clients a ray of hope. Give them the confidence that they are not alone. Tell them that together we will pass these difficult times and soon they will witness their dream transformation.
Establishing clear communication
It is not rare to see miscommunication happening between the coach and the clients. It can happen due to either the coach or the client.
A coach may hold a client accountable for the wrong results and later realize that the steps weren’t conveyed well because of which misunderstanding happened. Unclear communication may become a hurdle for the coach in understanding the client.
So, how do we make sure that clear communication is established?
There is just one way – Speak and encourage the clients to speak!
Yes, the more vocal your client and you are, the more information will flow.
It is usual to get clients don’t speak much. These are the ones who are either shy or unwilling to open the deep corners of their hearts for a stranger like you. Building mutual trust is the key here. Be empathetic and take the client into confidence. Make the client comfortable with your actions and words. Try to engage the client with the help of some humor or conversing around what the client likes (maybe their hobbies or past wonderful experience).
Remember, non-verbal communication is as much important as verbal. Your coaching goals must include establishing non-verbal communication as well. This includes clear communication via emails, phone, feedback, surveys, etc.
Always confirm with the clients whether the details are clear and if there are any questions. Keep encouraging your clients to open up and speak. They must be able to show their most vulnerable side to you with the utmost comfort.
Helping clients overcome failures
Failures are bound to happen in the coaching process. Change in behavioral dynamics takes time and effort. You may take ample time guiding the clients to not commit a mistake and still see it happening.
Helping clients overcome the failures should be of the most important coaching goals for any coach. You must make the clients realize that failures are just a slip and not a great fall from which they can never recover. Continuous motivation is the key here. Even if they repeat the same mistakes, stay calm. If even after clear directions, clients are facing issues again, try changing the techniques. Try something different and see if the clients can follow it properly.
Encourage clients to never lose hope. Share stories of people that have faced the same and still succeeded. Your clients should never see the failure of action steps as a burden. Rather motivate your clients to challenge themselves to achieve the missed goals next time.
One of the most important coaching goals is to analyze why clients are failing. The root cause analysis will tell the coach the actual cause. After understanding the cause, the coach can guide the clients better.
Ensuring proper use of coaching resources
The efficient coaching process makes use of different resources. These can be coaching tools or supplementary material in the form of audio, video, etc.
Coaches should ensure that whatever resources they share are being properly used by the clients. At the same time, the overuse of these resources should not happen. Talk to your clients and ask them whether they are comfortable with the resources.
You can use different coaching tools as a part of the coaching process. Such tools can help you to track the performance of the client, communicate efficiently, etc. But make sure that your clients are comfortable and they are able to coordinate well.
If you are providing add ons, beyond the coaching sessions, ensure that the clients are in pace. Don’t overburden your clients with too much stuff. Take regular feedback and ask the clients to rate the comfortability, benefits, etc. of the resources.
One of your coaching goals should be the provide minimum and most impactful coaching resources.
Building accountability in the clients
Your clients must learn to hold themselves accountable for their actions. Amongst all the coaching goals this one plays a great role. When the clients hold themselves responsible, the fear of going wrong always prevents them from committing mistakes.
As a coach, your job is to coach the clients. You should not perform actions on their behalf. If you do this, the clients will always be dependent on you and will never be able to learn on their own. In this way, the true essence of coaching can never be achieved. The client will never become self-independent and will always rely on you. Your goal should be to eliminate this dependency.
Let the clients perform the action steps. Hold them accountable for their success and failures. Correct and guide them but do not always hold their hands and make them walk. Let them walk alone and slip, help them to get up, and let them fall again. This is how they will learn. This is how they will realize that their success depends on themselves more than any external factor.
Achieving the much-needed transformation
The end coaching goal for any coach is achieving the desired transformation. All the coaching goals discussed above are the secondary goals that help in the achievement of this end goal.
Bringing transformation in the clients marks the success of your coaching process. But, that is definitely not easy. For achieving this goal, you must ensure that all the above goals are achieved. Transformation happens only when the coach and the client have a great bonding and understanding.
The coaching philosophy and approach of the coach will have a great impact. Always keep in mind the end transformation while driving the coaching process. This way your sessions and efforts will never lose track.
Retaining the transformation
Some clients may find it difficult to retain the transformation. They may again seek your coaching for the same. As a coach, help the clients to identify the factors that are causing non-retention of the transformation. Accountability and self-reliance are traits that a coach should emphasize here.
A coach should also know if there’s a need to refer the clients to some other experts. For e.g. recovery coaches often get drug-addict clients who may need therapy instead of coaching. You must be completely aware of your limitations as a coach.
Techniques for Achieving Coaching Goals
Deciding coaching goals is easy but achieving them is difficult. This involves a careful approach and a lot of effort with patience. If a coach follows certain steps, then achieving coaching goals can become easy. Some techniques below will help you in the achievement of coaching goals.
Coaching goals should be SMART
Make your coaching goals SMART. When your coaching goals are smart they are clear and vivid. Achieving smart goals becomes very easy as the clients can get clear directions for it.
Not sure how to make your coaching goals SMART? Let me tell you.
Suppose a team coach has the following goal.
Goal: To inspire and motivate the team.
Let’s understand how can the team coach make this goal SMART.
Goal: To inspire and motivate the team
S – Specific
To inspire the team members such that the productivity improves by 25% in the team members’ feedback.
Productivity increased by 30% quicker project completion, as reported in the team survey.
A – Attainable
Provide project management tools and training. Encourage a collaborative atmosphere with positive feedback through weekly check-ins with team members.
R – Relevant
Inspiring the team will increase productivity. This will increase the rate of projection completion and reduce latency.
T – Time-Bound
Achieve a 25% reduction in the time it takes to complete projects. Show the team report on work satisfaction in the next 6 months.
Did you see it? SMART goals are crisp and precise. They include all the details in a clear fashion. Metrics and deadlines are clearly defined. Always plan your coaching goal in this manner. This will help your clients to get a crystal-clear idea of what is expected out of them.
Feedback and Followups
How will you understand where are your clients with respect to the set coaching goals?
The perfect way of doing so is through feedback and followups.
Consistent feedback ensures that the clients are not lagging behind. They also show which goals are being achieved and which need to be focused on more.
Take followups and ask your clients to share the hurdles that they may be facing. Motivate them but at the same time challenge them to achieve more than what they think they can. Show them the loopholes and make them realize that they are capable of achieving more.
The feedback must help you to analyze the current status of achievement of all your coaching goals.
Conducting effective coaching sessions
Conducting effective coaching sessions is an art. Sessions will help to realize how much are your clients in pace with your common coaching goals. During sessions, you can have meaningful conversations with your clients regarding the goals. You can remind them of the metrics and encourage them to achieve the goals within the set deadlines.
Sessions also give you a chance to mitigate fears, disbeliefs, and low-confidence in the clients. These are the hurdles that stop your clients from reaching the goals. Your goal should be to identify, carefully analyze, and remove the issues that your clients are facing. Each of your coaching sessions should bring the client one step closer to the end goal – TRANSFORMATION.
Analyzing the coaching process
Keep analyzing and critically examining the coaching process as per the client’s feedback. After some time you may realize the need to reset the goals as per the client. It may also happen that you realize a need for change in the coaching process/strategies/flow.
The key is to reflect and identify the need for a change to improve the process. Coaching goals are difficult and challenging to achieve. You must make sure that your coaching process gives both the client and you ample opportunities to achieve the most smoothly.