By Ann Orton – Faculty Member
Well, dear reader – I’ve made it! As in reached my commitment to raise £20,000 for Breakthrough Breast Cancer before the informal deadline of 31 July (the financial year end for Breakthrough). Thanks to the wonderful generosity of family, friends, colleagues and the broader Meyler Campbell community we’ve achieved something pretty amazing in the current climate. There are another few weeks before the skydive on 28 August (this time with a back-up date of 3 September!). And now of course I want to raise more! Which triggered a thought about ever developing goals: we ask our clients to commit to goals for their overall coaching and then to define specific goals for each coaching session within the coaching programme. But how often do or should those overall goals change? What is our role as coach in helping clients to take on additional challenges or stretch goals as they make progress, increase self-awareness and gain insight? What more might our clients achieve if they reach for the skies?
Frank Neale’s latest musings (BC08)
I recently completed a 5 day walk with my youngest son along the SW Coastal Path through Devon-from Lyme Regis almost to Dartmouth. I say almost as our goal was Dartmouth but we did not quite make it as we had not realised how difficult the very last section was and how long it would take. If we had been persistent we would have missed our last train back to London. In the light of this reality we therefore amended our goal. Along the way we had some very strenuous sections and some others where there was plenty of time to take in the superb views along the Jurassic Coast, a UNESCO World Heritage site. We veered off the path once in the wrong direction but not for long as close attention to compass and map soon got us back on course. I kept a journal as we walked and have distilled my thoughts on the obvious metaphor with business coaching and goal setting in particular. Seven always seems a good number so here goes:
- Set yourself a big “hairy” goal – you might not make it all the way but you sure will be nearer to it than when you started out
- Have some more immediate sub-goals on the way as that helps to motivate you that you are achieving something
- Good planning is essential – we only thought in terms of miles per day rather than difficulty per day and therefore overstretched on one day
- Remain flexible – it does not matter if you do not quite make it first time. You can always keep on trying
- Check where you are at all times – if you make a mistake or veer off plan check out quickly if the detour is worthwhile – if not go backwards and get back on plan
- Remain “present” i.e. alert and aware at all times so that you can enjoy the journey and avoid the mantraps (in our case the views, flora and fauna and the dog poo!)
- Reassess your goals against current reality – determination and persistence are generally thought of as strengths but if taken to extremes they can equal stupidity.