Jeanine Bailey and Marie Quigley

Co-founders of Empower World

Jeanine: Hello and welcome listeners to another episode of the Empower World Coaching and Leadership podcast, and I'm absolutely delighted to be here again with my wonderful, amazing business partner Marie Quigley, and I'm here Jeanine Bailey. We've been we've had quite a bit of a break with summer and winter and various things going on between sessions between recording podcasts. So, I'm delighted to be back here again with you, Marie.

Marie: Welcome to Jeanine and ditto on all those lovely things you said earlier.

Jeanine: Fantastic. And so today, listeners, we thought what would bring to this session was something that we're both noticing through mentoring our clients to achieve their credentials either ACC, ICF, ACC PCC, MKC, the International Coach Federation. And what we're noticing is that some of our clients are really struggling to set their goals for their sessions with their clients. And once a goal has been agreed to actually look at what would be the evidence of success when that goal is achieved, So, this is something we're noticing, isn't Marie?

Marie: Absolutely. Yeah. Not just for those new coaches, but for those established coaches that maybe have got just into bad habits of saying, OK, client, what are you bringing Let’s get on and have a look at that instead of taking a step back and saying, OK, fine, what are you bringing? What's the real reason you're bringing this goal? And not only that, when you leave the session, what's going to be your evidence of success? How do you know you've achieved the thing that we want to talk about that could be experiencing something in your internal system, your body, your breathing, your thoughts? Or it could be that you've got some action steps to move forward? It can be it can be a number of things. This evidence of success that is often missing from the mentoring recordings that we're observing coaches working with their client, having something superficial to work on and therefore not getting that deep transformational conversation that's so important to create long term, sustainable change.

Jeanine: Mm-Hmm. Yes, absolutely, Marie and there are coaches out there who can set those goals. They have the ability to do that with their clients. They're clear with the client is clear. The coach is clear about the goal, the agreed goal and yet the evidence of success looking at what would success and fulfillment is often not explored. And this is something that we both share Marie, in our training. It's that it's such an amazing and powerful process that supports our clients to actually know when they start dreaming, when they start visualizing or hearing or feeling out in the future when this goal is achieved. It can. It can provide so much information for the client in so many different and powerful ways. Using all the senses that allows them to recognize this is important. You know, I really, really want to achieve this goal, especially when we ask those systemic questions, what does this give you? What does this give others? What does it give the community, the environment, the planet and so much more So really spending time on this part of the goal setting, the goal is equally and powerfully important?

Marie: It sure is because when you spend time on determining the goal and then determining what the end result is going to be, it's like a rudder in the ship. It's like in the water as you're sailing the ship together, the two of you, the client and coach, you're moving towards something that is tangible as well as an experience for the client. So, it is so important for the knock-on effect to make sure you're hitting the mark because of the competencies, you've got to get these first two markers for want of a better word kind of on track. It's got to be your destination set on the boat to allow you to move through it.

Jeanine: Yeah, or really on track because we know we can hear in some of these conversations that when the goal isn't clearly defined, there are still can be some amazing conversations and. And we also appreciate that the conversations could be even more transformational and hitting the markers of competency of the ICF coaching competencies when that goal is defined and that success is also that success and fulfillment is also explored. So, it's a little bit like if I can use this analogy, I live on the beach and I'm on the head of a bay and the two heads of the bay are very narrow, so it's there's not much room for any of the ships to come through. And then on top of that, where the deep-water runs are even narrower. So, the ships that are coming through the channel where I live, support for or the bay where I live, they really need to be clear about the goal, where they need to go, where they are heading for, where is their destination, what is success for them in this navigation of the channel so that they are able to achieve what it is they want to achieve, deliver the cargo, whatever the people, whatever it may be. So, if they are not aware of that clearly defined goal and what success and fulfillment is? If they don't have the pilot, the pilot boat, the lighthouse, and I think I think there are a few trees that these big ships use to align themselves as they come through the heads of the bay, then they're very likely to go off track and perhaps. Go to places that they don't want to go to. So, having that clarity of the goal and success really supports our client to be able to recognize, yeah. Am I, you know what, am I on track or am I off track with what I'm bringing to the session?

Marie: Yeah, I think what a lovely analogy. Jeanine, I'm just thinking as we're working with our clients to determine the evidence of success. Often the goal may become clearer or more defined or change completely. And this is the power of, you know, having a goal and then determining what the purpose of it is. Often it comes into a big sea of possibilities. So, I'm thinking of the boat going back out through that channel. You talked about Jeanine and maybe opening up and saying, oh, there's a lovely island, I want to go to that I didn't even know existed until I looked at that bigger sea of possibilities. So that's also what happens when we're supporting the client to determine the evidence of success. Sometimes the goal can shift and move. And of course, as you're explore, even if you've defined it in the conversation at the beginning as you're exploring it. The coach's role is to check in all we still on track with what's happening, has the goal shifted? Has the agenda of the conversation shifted in any way that maybe we were looking at this island, but actually you've decided you want to go to another island and then you redefine that goal? So again, as you said, that boat can land at this potential new destination. This is what we hear with courageous coaching that the coach is not afraid to challenge the client on whether the destination is still the same or not.

Jeanine: Mhm. Yes, that is a really powerful question to ask and check in with our clients. And so, we can we recognize that setting a goal with a client is not straightforward. If we want to do it in a really masterful way to really bring out what's underneath what a client brings into the session, so we both have an assumption that whatever the client brings into the session, there is something underneath that what we call perhaps the surface goal, knowing that when a client brings in what initially they want to be coached on, there is so much beauty and awareness to be created. This potentially fears are potentially valuing also emotions both emotions that feel good and not so good. So. So we always assume that when a client brings in something that they want to be coached on, there is a deeper goal to be explored. Agreed. So, we do recommend that when your client brings in a goal that you start to explore with the client, what's important about this? What brings this goal here today to explore and then listening to what our client is sharing and then what we might call double clicking or getting curious about what the client says and shares about the importance of that. And we'll start to hear the clues about what is really underlying that goal. So, Marie, maybe you'd like to maybe hand over the talking stick to you to continue.

Marie: So, so important that you highlighted the fact we need to listen to what the client is saying, as they said that those words that they use, what's the tone of voice like when they've said what they want to create? All you notice any wobbling in that voice are you noticing any excitement in that voice, even naming those things when the client is talking about what they want can be a super reflection to support the client and know “oh my voice is wobbling, what’s that about? Am I nervous about this goal? Is there something going on with me that I haven't even paid attention to until this moment?”. So, within the goal setting, there's still a lot of that deep listening to your client, that reflecting back all those fabulous coaching skills that helped create new awareness that we want to be doing so that when maybe after some reflection, you say, I'm going to invite you to just state that goal again now that you've done some reflection. So, there's a lot of back and forth with the client and coach to support the what we call the deeper goal to be named.

Jeanine: Yes, there is, as you say, Marie. There potentially can be a lot of backwards and forwards. And so, we want you to trust that is absolutely perfect because you're supporting your client to become aware of what's really going on underneath the surface of what they've brought to the session. And through your questions, supporting your client to potentially come out of their head and moving to their heart or their body, their intuition as to what's really going on underneath is for them. So, reflecting back asking questions like, you know, what's coming up for you now as you hear that reflected back. And ultimately asking the client, so if you share in one sentence, what is it that you would like to take away from the session, allowing your client to do that now, you might have some clients who'd like to speak a lot and that might be challenging. So that's OK, too. And if you hear that, you could… there's so many different ways you can work with your client here, you could perhaps reflect that back. I noticed when I asked you to state your goal in one sentence, I noticed you shared quite a lot. So could potentially be a pattern that your client has of perhaps avoiding questions, who knows, so, please do appreciate it can take time to set the goal. You also want to hear that the client is stating a goal in terms of what they want. Versus what they don't want. So, you'll know that you're getting close to setting the goal when you're hearing. Very concisely what they want stated in terms of what they do want, not what they don't want.


Marie: Yeah, when you hear the I don't want to, then you support them to reframe it. So, what do you want? Simple as that to support them to really understand what they want to leave with. Why are they bringing this goal to the coaching session in the first place? What is important in their life in their being about this for them, that's when you get the transformational stuff happening. So, for example, that often goal that comes in executive coaching is, you know, I need to be better on time management. So, what is going on underneath the client is maybe overwhelmed, maybe doesn't have the confidence. Maybe he's got imposter syndrome, maybe he's taking on too many other projects. Who knows what's happening? Because really, we can all plan our diaries and our time effectively if we want to. But what is happening underneath? Why are they bringing it that bigger goal? And then when they leave it, they may want their diary to be easily filled in. But what else do they want? Do they want to feel confident, do they want to be able to push back, do they want to be able to create boundaries in their life? Do they want more work-life balance. You know, what is it that they want at the end after the reflection on this topic?

Jeanine: Yeah, that's a beautiful example that you've brought in, Marie, because we really want to support our clients at a mindset level. And who they're being. So, it's around the who and who they're choosing to be. So that time management goal is what we would call a circus goal. It's more a skill, perhaps the skills based goal versus the who. What's going on that's that is creating that, unable to manage their time or prioritize the time? So yes, what's really going on in terms of what are the beliefs about themselves? What are the beliefs about the world? What are they perhaps blaming? What are they perhaps disowning? So, we really want to support our clients to create a goal that is around who they are being. For example, it could be I'd like to be able to create more confidence in what I'm doing, or I'd like to know what my top values are so that I can make purposeful decisions or something like that.

Marie: Yeah, exactly. So, coaches listen to your work, listen to your record your sessions and listen back and think about how you're how you're being in this work. What if you aren't able to set really clear, powerful, deeply transformational goals for your clients to do that? What's happening for you? Start paying attention to that. Get mentoring. Mentoring is not just for credentialing; it's supporting you to be masterful in your work. So, sign up with a mentor coach who's a step ahead of you so that they can support you in that journey and that they can listen in to your work and uncover the blind spots that so often happen. Jeanine and I both continue with our own professional development. We might be master certified coaches, but we still know that listening to our work and having others listening to our work provides us with deep learning. So, get that practicing.

Jeanine: Mm yeah. Beautiful advice and coaches. When you have set the goal with your client, when you have agreed your birth, have this clear understanding of what the goal is. Ask your client what will be the evidence of success? How will you know that you've achieved this goal? What will be different? What will you be experiencing, what will you see here, you? What will that give you to achieve that goal? What would that give others? And so forth and so forth and so forth, so coaches enjoy the practice. We trust that this has been useful and we'd love to hear your feedback to see how we can support you even more. Thank you for joining us. And we look forward to seeing you on the next podcast. see you soon thanks, Marie.


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