“If I engage in a coaching experience, then I’ll help other people while growing as an individual myself, but how do I keep everyone’s interest?”
Part 5: Determine coaching goals and learner motivation
After the appropriate methodology has been selected, developers (Coaches) need to help learners define concrete coaching goals that the learner is highly motivated to achieve. In fact, all effective coaching starts with one or more coaching goals that the developer and learner agree are the desired outcomes of the coaching experience.
Not only do these provide direction and focus for the entire coaching experience, goals provide measures to determine whether the coaching has been successful. Without clear goals, the coaching discussion easily meanders on to a new topic every session, the developer and learner can lose interest in the coaching experience, and there is limited accountability for results. A simple question elicits a learner's coaching goals: "What do you most want to achieve as a result of coaching?"
Coaching goals must have a clear connection to the learner's most important motivations; people don't change and grow unless they have sufficient motivation to do so.
Even when the link between goals and motivations seems obvious, it is important to make sure this is the case by asking the learner a simple question: "Why does this goal matter to you?"
Coaching involves challenging and supporting people to be extraordinary community members and leaders, as well as to achieve extraordinary levels of performance. It starts with becoming clear on the goals and aspirations people passionately care about and offering them a powerful assist in calling forth who they need to be in the matter. It requires building new skills and capabilities so as to bring out the best in those around them. It means fostering not just individual excellence, but also creative collaboration.
Coaching is based on being completely committed to the learners and engaging with them in conversations (or a network of conversations) that leave them inspired, empowered, and enabled with respect to their concerns. The acid test is that when you leave the meeting with a Coach, you have "freedom to be" and you have new openings for possibility and action in areas where you were stuck and ineffective.
Coaching is a journey, not just a destination. Whether or not you will embark on the journey depends not on whether you are a leader, project manager, or individual contributor; it depends on whether you dare to see and meet the calling to make a difference, whether in the life of one person, a group, or an institution. We admire others who make a difference, who have an impact, who are effective.
Perhaps our inspiration to take the journey to Coaching comes from these people. Each of us can remember a handful, but only a handful, of coaches, teachers, and mentors who touched our lives with new possibilities we didn't see before, who enabled us to achieve results that we never dreamed of or dared to imagine. They were people who held up an honest mirror, one that led to a revelation of our own foolishness. They had conversations with us about the lessons we needed to learn about life, laced with a sense of humor.
The journey is driven by passion, commitment, and zeal. It calls for a hungry spirit, a person who not only has the desire to be a success but also to be a contribution; It calls for those who know that the true joy in life is to bring people together to create and invent the future, rather than just trying to predict it. It entices those who have achieved something splendid at some point only because they dared to believe that there was something inside them that was superior to circumstance and now they want to pass that on.
It calls for leaders who recognize that the highest leverage in the adventure of business (and living) is elevating their concerns to making an Impossible Future. This can only happen if people let go of being the hero and being in the center of the action and focus on developing the next generation of leaders in the process of getting the job done.