iDevelop Series - Goal setting as coach

Effective Coaching Skills

Goal setting as a coach

Many leaders who coach, have a real passion for motivating their employees, helping them grow, seeing them more engaged and watching their careers advance, but they often admit that the goal setting is the hardest part. It feels like they are interrupting all that support and forward momentum with performance metrics and measurements. While that might seem that way, it is important to remember that goal setting, more specifically goal achieving is the bigger reason behind coaching. Coaching relationship always needs to be rooted in purpose to elevate the employees' skills, improve their performance, and prepare them for work at a different level. The quantifiable part is essential. To pursue the goal setting function of coaching, here are four strategies we can apply. 1. Let colleagues participate in goal setting process. If coach just set the goals without colleague’s input, they may find it hard to commit to reaching them. The lack of control might even increase the negative sense of pressure. If colleagues are involved in every aspect of goal setting they automatically feel a greater sense of responsibility for meeting those goals, they're more engaged when they participate in determining what's possible and setting deadlines.

2. Connect individual goals to the big picture. One of the best ways to guide employees in setting goals is by linking those directly to the individual development, department or company. Whatever they set out to do needs to make sense from a broader perspective. Help them make that connection. 3. Keep the commitment alive. It's tempting as a coach to finish the goal setting part of the process and leave that on the back burner until the next review, but that ultimately undermines the benefits of the coaching relationship. To be effective in the role, coaches need to pay close attention to the progress being made by colleagues. Are they on track? Is anything getting in their way of progress? Keeping pace with your employee’s progress gives the coaches the opportunity to customize their conversations, to help employees integrate discoveries, and to see the impact on their performance over time. With this kind of just in time coaching, employees get the specific support they need.

4. Remain flexible with your coaching goals. Situations change, new opportunities emerge, as coach it's our job to determine when it might be sensible or even necessary to adjust our colleagues’ goals. Rigid adherence to goals, that for whatever reason have become unrealistic or unattainable will only create stress and anxiety for everyone involved. With that said, changing goals should be a collaborative decision. You want discussion and buy-in during that process, otherwise our colleagues will feel like they're constantly chasing a moving target. When we take a positive and strategic approach to goal setting, we can transform the way our colleagues think about their commitment to the organization, dramatically increasing their engagement and performance as well as their potential to contribute at a higher level throughout their careers

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