The main purpose for any kind of coaching is to help your client get from point A to point B. This goal is set up at the beginning of the coaching relationship, and is the foundation for all future conversations. While this may seem simple enough, but usually there are obstacles along the way.
Sometimes over the course of coaching, the client can become apathetic about the goal or just want to give up. While tackling my own issues and attempting to achieve goals, I often experienced this. My goal seemed like too much work, and I simply wanted to stop trying and do something else.
This is when you, the coach, guard these goals for the client. I like to call this being the goal keeper, and it’s a great life coaching tip for any situation. As a goal keeper, your job is to remain committed to and support the client through overcoming whatever is holding them back. You often need to remind them of the reason they started coaching in the first place … or find out their real level of motivation related to the goal.
On the flip side, it’s equally important to acknowledge your client’s achievements. Celebrate their success, and help them to learn how to repeat these successful actions in the future. Either way you are the goal keeper, reminding your client of the good and providing them with tools and techniques to get them to their destination.
This commitment and support is what allows people to find clarity & self awareness, take more effective action, and ultimately transform their lives. So never forget that your work as a goal keeper is incredibly powerful! Psychology professor Dr. Gail Matthews conducted a study that showed that people who write down goals, share them with a friend, and send this friend weekly updates are 33% more likely to attain that goal than those who just think about them. So, by being a trained life coach with lots of other tools you can share with your client, I would imagine his or her success ratio going up significantly.
Life Coaching Tips for Effective Goal Keeping:
- Be objective. This might not seem important, but it’s a vital part of any coaching relationship. You have to leave all of your judgments and preconceptions at the door when acting as goal keeper. If you don’t think your client will be able to succeed, or you judge how they go about it, you sacrifice integrity – and worse, you client will probably pick up on it.
- Remain selfless. Remember that the focus of each coaching session is the client: their goal, their success, and their fulfillment. If you start focusing on your own problems and how they relate to the client, you can’t remain objective or properly focus on how to help the person sitting in front of you.
- Follow the client, not lead. As a coach you may be tempted to set the goals for your client. Don’t. Use the non-directive approach with this life coaching tip: While you probably have more experience with goal keeping than the client, this doesn’t mean that you should think for them. Sometimes a client will be more comfortable with smaller goals. Other times, they’ll enjoy a bigger challenge. Either way, let your client decide. When its their decision, they are more likely to follow through.
- Accountability. This can be as simple as checking in with your client to see what they’ve accomplished. The very act of checking in reminds the client of their goal and commitment, as well as providing support simply by caring. This can make a huge difference to the client’s motivation.
You can also apply these life coaching tips to yourself. When you begin a new coaching relationship, you are probably excited at the prospect of helping someone to improve their life, and optimistic that you will be successful. This is great, and no doubt the reason you are a coach! However, over time you may find your support diminishing. Without even realizing it, you may feel that you can’t make any progress with this client or become tired and bored.
This is where your own goal keeping is essential. By being aware of the symptoms related to your own thoughts and beliefs, you can maintain a more objective in the coaching relationship and renew your client’s experience.
So do this: take a few minutes before each coaching session and remind yourself of the goals of the client and how you are holding the space for them to succeed in that direction. Note the progress you’ve both made and where you are on the path from point A to point B. This will get you into the correct mindset for the coaching session, allowing for a much more effective conversation.
Want more tips for successful coaching? Check out Dr. Craig’s free report now!
Are you a goal keeper? Let us know how you work with clients by leaving a comment below.