Coach Yourself To Achieve Goals

One of the many subjects I teach leaders, so they can be more effective in developing their employees, is basic coaching. In a recent workshop, it dawned on me that we can also use this very simple model to coach ourselves. Although I recommend that you get your own coach, this is a simple model you can utilize when you’re in a pinch.

The GROW model was created by Sir John Whitmore and colleagues in the 1980’s and it is a process to guide a coaching conversation in a more structured way. We used this model to train leaders in the FBI to coach and I continue to use it in my leadership workshops in my post-FBI career. To relate this to self-coaching, we’ll call it a coaching conversation with ourselves.

Here are the steps:

Goals: In this step, you define what you want to achieve. Once you decide on the specific goal, you then create the objectives and tasks that would need to be completed to accomplish your goal. You can use this for small goals, such as to get a report done by Friday, to big ones such as own your own business. Once you’re really clear on what you want to accomplish, you move onto the next step.

Reality: In this step, you explore where you are now. Is it realistic for you to achieve the objectives in the amount of time you’ve given yourself and with your current resources? What is working for you in achieving this goal? What is working against you in achieving this goal? Make sure to check any assumptions that you’re making during this step as well. Basically, question everything. For example, an assumption could be that you have a report due on Friday and it cannot be done in time. Check this assumption by going through your schedule and moving to the next step.

Options: In this step, you brainstorm all the diverse ways you can achieve the goal you set. Get as creative as you’d like. Let’s say in the previous step you made the assumption that there is no way you can get your report done on time; however, when you explore options, you come up with a number of creative ways you can do so – cancel your attendance at an unimportant meeting, have someone go in your place, set aside time in the evening to finish it, etc.

Way Forward: In this final step you commit to specific actions. This becomes your action plan – you will do “x” to accomplish your first objective by “x” date, and so on. You also look at the resources you will need, and the accountability support you may need to implement to ensure you get what you need done by the deadlines you’ve created. Some of us need more support than others, especially if it is a goal that we are not particularly excited about, so you come up what works for you. Accountability partners work well for this, too.

In summary – Set your Goals, examine your Reality, explore your Options, and then determine a Way Forward that works for you.

Why not try this simple model out today?