- Contract, contract, contract!
‘Contract’ is one of my favourite coaching words! If stuff changes and changes all the time, then what to do? How can I know if we are still working on the right goal or not? The answer is straightforward – just ask. Ask the coachee every time you meet how their intentions and objectives have changed since you last met. Ask them how their goals have evolved as the result of your conversation. If you have the opportunity, talk to other stakeholders as to their perspective on how things may have changed.
These are just some of the ways in which we can work differently with goals. Rather than think of a goal as a stake in the ground, an unchanging reference point to which we can point at any stage in the assignment, the goal becomes something dynamic. Something vibrant and elusive, something to be checked upon constantly, lest it evolve into something completely different, leaving us working on something irrelevant and uninteresting.
Notes & Acknowledgments
(1) David, S., Clutterbuck, D., Megginson, D. (2013). Beyond Goals. UK: Gower
(2) Ordonez, L.D., Schweitzer, M.E., Galinsky, A.D. & Bazerman, M.H. (2009). Goals gone wild: The systematic side effects of overprescribing goal setting. Academy of Management Perspectives, 23(1), 6-16
(3) Stacey, R. (2016). Tools and Techniques of Leadership and management. Meeting the Challenge of Complexity. UK: Routledge
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