Running a goal setting session
It’s ok if you are feeling disappointed or frustrated right now because your plans are constantly changing or you can’t make the progress you want. Many of your friends and family or clients will be in a similar position and it can be very tempting for us all to simply wait until everything gets back to normal before making any real progress.
But constantly adapting to these new restrictions, changes to social distancing and a possible return to lockdown can be exhausting, so this could be a great time for running a goal setting session. During this type of coaching session with your clients, you may find that some of their goals can no longer be achieved or may have been postponed, so having an opportunity to review, reflect and reset goals, could be just what your clients need right now.
Our five step process
If you use this process when running a goal setting session, it should help bring clarity on what your clients want to focus on before other priorities take over or we no longer have the time.
Step 1 – Focus on the future
When running a goal setting session, remember to focus on the future so your client is not disappointed by any lack of progress or overwhelmed by the current situation. This will also help them check if their long term goals are still relevant or achievable, and if the timeline they originally had in place now needs to be updated.
Step 2 – Agree short term goals
Once they are happy with their long term goals, the next stage is to break them down into more manageable pieces or a series of incremental steps they can work on or deliver in the short term. This will really help them regain control and reduce any stress they may be feeling right now. Having these short term goals and building towards something more meaningful in the future will help them boost their resilience so they have the energy needed to make the progress they want.
Step 3 – Make it challenging
It’s important to set goals that will challenge your clients (especially if they feel their life has been on hold) and may be the additional motivation they need to help kick-start this next phase of the new normal we are all living with. But ask them to check local health advice so they can be realistic about what they are able to do and stay safe or keep socially distanced where needed.
Step 4 – Adapt to changes
The current restrictions have taught us to be agile and adaptable, so remember this when working with a client to review their goals and think about how they will track or monitor any progress they are making. Having milestones in the diary will help keep them on track, but it’s also important to think about any possible blockers or things that can go wrong. We don’t want you to spend your time with your client focusing on the negative, but we do advise you to encourage your client to be honest and fully aware of any obstacles. Remember, this can also include their ability to self-sabotage, so by working with them to discuss or list any possible risks to success, they will identify what they will do if the situation arises or how they will spot it and stop it getting in their way.
Step 5 – Sharing the goals
If your client has a supportive friend or family member they can trust, suggesting they share their goals with them can really help make it all seem more real. It can also add motivation for them because they know somebody else will be checking on their progress and could even help spot when things are not going to plan. Their friends or family may also provide any support needed, because feeling supported can be a real motivator and boost resilience just when they need it.
Delivering success in your coaching session
To ensure they have the best possible chance of achieving everything they want, it may also be helpful to focus on these three areas when you are running a goal setting session:
- Outcomes – What they want to achieve and by when
- Processes – What they need to do to make it happen
- Identity – What habits or behaviors they may need to change or adapt
This global pandemic has shown us that we are not always be in full control of what is happening, but we can control how we react to it and what impact it has on what we do or don’t achieve. Please use this time to focus on staying positive and share that energy with the people around you.
Join our community
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To support you in running a goal setting session, we have published a range of ebooks that focus on different areas:
Coaching Values – A complete toolkit for coaching both personal and professional values, with a simple step by step guide to identify key values and set clear goals.
Coaching Beliefs – A clear introduction to beliefs, simple step by step process to identify or review personal beliefs and final section to focus on negative beliefs to change any life scripts that could be holding your clients back.
Coaching Skills – Essential toolkit for coaching personal and interpersonal skills, plus self-assessment skills compass and key questions to identify strengths and talents, or areas to focus on.
Coaching Needs – An essential toolkit for coaching needs and simple step by step guide to identify needs and develop action plans to help satisfy them.
Image: Thanks to Social Cut for sharing their work on Unsplash.
Please note – Our materials can only be copied and distributed, if you include a reference and link to the original source: (cc) MyCoachingToolkit.com – 2020