In behavioural coaching, the goal is the central point around which strategies are formulated to move forward. They provide a reference point, an inspiration and a sense of direction to the whole coaching journey. Goals have a mental representation and therefore they tend to present an automatic environment response.
People with high level of self-efficacy tend to set tougher / bigger goals and they perform well to achieve these goals. This must be seen both in terms of long term and short-term goals. While long term goals provide a sense of direction and pertain to self-actualization, short term goals provide a sense of achievement and progress necessary to build confidence to move towards long term goals.
Voluntary goals engender higher commitment and are therefore preferred in the coaching context. From the organizational perspective, it may be important for the organization to set the overall direction and define higher level outcomes. Detailing of the goals, prioritization and hierarchy may be left to the coachee to engender higher interest and commitment. It is important to get the coachee’ s buy in into the goals irrespective of how autocratic the goal setting process is in the organization. Structuring messages, providing reasons and creating a dialogue around the goals is important part of aligning a coachee to a goal. Anyone assisting the process of goal setting must have the right authority, must inspire the coachee and should also be able to provide ownership and accountability to the coachee. It’s necessary to follow up the process of goals setting with timely feedback.
Employing a combination of goal setting and mind mapping techniques assists the brain to be in evolved in wholesome (right and left). Such a combination accelerates learning and enhances self-efficacy in the coachee.
Steps to goals in behavioral coaching
- Identify gaps: Coach and the coachee in partnership analyse and identify gaps in performance. This may be done in collaboration with other stakeholders in the organization. Special attention is paid to tasks where certain behaviours of the coachee act as derailers frequently.
- Identify areas where goals have been achieved: It is important to provide positive reinforcement during setting goals. Enhancing self-knowledge is pertinent to the process of goal setting.
- Identify objective measures: Goals must have objective measures. In case the goals cascade down from larger goals in an organization, these must co-relate and sum up to provide a sense of objectivity not just at the subject level but also at the organization level.
- Nominate all possible goals: All goals related to the higher objective musty be enlisted to ensure that there is a sense of completion. Mind mapping techniques help in ensuring this. Prioritization and rating these goals is also important.
- Set SMART Goals: The list so derived must be expanded and detailed using the SMART goals. Specific, measurable, achievable, recordable and time bound – goals perform best when stretched. Goals also must be prioritized based on their importance for the organization and the individual.
- Coping Strategies: The selected goals are then articulated in terms of behavioural goals and indicators. Coach must explore possible obstacles and document them to pre-empt them by creating coping strategies.