Goal Setting - The UNBORING Way



Sign up for our newsletter on globalization and localization matters.

What outcome will delight you?

Dare to dream. This goal setting question stretches beyond the safe and the predictable. It is not unusual for clients to approach goal setting with organizational performance KPIs. These are important, but coaching goes deeper.

Goals that stretch

Flash back to last month’s article in this five part series intended to demystify coaching; Coaching is uncomfortable. Analogous to the physical stretch of muscles, shifting mindset and trying on new behaviors takes effort and induces “good pain.” That uncomfortable stretch starts with meaningful goal setting. If organizational goals are “Swedish massage” that guides teams in a unified direction, coaching is “Deep Tissue Massage” with more individual pressure.

Excerpts from healthline.com illuminate the analogy: "Your massage therapist [COACH!] will begin to work deep into your problem areas. You should expect a fair amount of soreness in the days following your deep tissue massage [COACHING!]”

Clients come to the initial consultation with ideas on what they want to get out of coaching. Goals do not need to be fully formulated. In my role as coach and partner I guide the stretching and dreaming. I invite clients to let me take notes so that they may relax into being present and thoughtful as I probe with questions. What is important? Why? What else? More than once high powered and extremely capable leaders have dissolved into a tension release of tears with the realization and first time verbalization of what they really want, what feels beyond reach, and/or perceived limitations.

Goal setting process

a) Client reflects and prepares.

b) Coach questions and probes.

c) Coach captures and summarizes in writing.

d) Client approves and tweaks.

e) Client invites his/her lead to join an ensuing session for goal alignment.

Role of manager/ HR / L&D

Invariably the client leads also lean into a holistic approach that goes beyond business performance metrics. Yes, Swedish massage is great, and KPIs are essential. But when companies invest in external coaching programs they endorse the “Deep Tissue Massage” approach to goal setting and coaching. In fact, many external programs are administered by staff with coaching certifications who understand and practice coaching.


Coaching "Big Buckets"

Coaching goals are as individualized as individuals, but this high level list comprises many of them.

• Living and working on purpose

• Living and working in balance

• Building leaders and mentoring

• Influencing and career advancement

• Recognizing and managing external obstacles and internal limiting beliefs.

Coaching demystified - The story line

So far…..

Article #1 Positive messages puts coaching in the mainstream

Article #2 Coaching is Uncomfortable

Article #3 Coaching goals that matter.

Next …..

Article #4 The Anatomy of a Coaching Session.

The story line continues with session agendas that that are client owned. More discomfort, more stretch. More impact.


Do you want to contribute with an article, a blog post or a webinar?

We’re always on the lookout for informative, useful and well-researched content relative to our industry.

Write to us.