5 Steps for
When coaching someone it is important to clearly establish what your client
specifically wants to achieve.
People will tell you what they think they want to achieve, and when questioned
further the goal will often change.
It is the role of a good coach to help their client identify what is called a Well
Formed Outcome or Goal.
When someone has a well formed goal, they are building the possibility in their
mind, that this goal can be achieved by them.
Step 1 – Stated in the positive
Our brains are compelled to think about what we focus on. When I ask you
not to think about purple rabbits – I can guarantee, that because I mentioned
purple rabbits, you have to think about them!! Even though I told you not to!!
If someone has a goal of “not missing their target”, their mind will focus on
missing their target – this is not a well formed goal
The way to change this, is by getting your client to focus on what they want,
not what they don’t want.
For the example above, the way to change this into a well formed goal is to
state what the person wants to achieve for example:
“I will achieve £150k sales, each quarter for the next two quarters”
Step 2 - Within your clients control
This may seem too simplistic however it is vital that your client is able to
control the outcome.
“I want to get promoted” is not a well formed goal, as people do not have
the authority to promote themselves (unless it is their own business!!)
“I know that to be considered for promotion I need to overachieve my
target by at least 10%. I will achieve £150k each quarter over the next
two quarters instead of my company target of £110k per quarter”
This is a well formed goal as it is in the control of your client.
Step 3 – Ecology Check
Clients will often want to set goals for things without even considering how
this will impact on their life.
A good coach will do a check to find out how achieving this goal will impact
on their family, job, friends, health. Will there be any negative
consequences from achieving this.
For example a client may want coached to become Sales Director. This
will involve a move to head office and extensive international travel.
How will achieving this affect her children’s schooling, her partner, her
wider family, her health, her friends, her social life etc.
All of this must be addressed before this goal is well formed
Step 4 – Sensory Based
The more your client imagines achieving something using all their senses the
richer that goal becomes.
The brain does not know the difference between something happening or
something imagined. This is why people who watch a scary movie become
We are all able to keep reliving something that happened years ago (good or
bad) and feel the same way as we did, at the time that situation originally
What will your client feel, hear and see when they have achieved their goal.
The more you help them build a rich, sensory experience, the stronger their
mind will build the possibility of this happening.
Step 5 – Time framed
When will this goal happen by?
All well formed goals have a specific date that they will be achieved by.
Check if this is realistic, does your client have the time to do everything
that had to be done for this goal to be achieved?
How will they know when they have achieved this?
For example a well formed, time framed goal is:
“I achieve £150k by the 30th September 2013. I will know I have
achieved this because I will have signed contacts and paid invoices
from my clients”
Fiona Campbell is an Executive Coach
and Licensed NLP Business Coach
trainer for the Society of NLP.
To find out how Fiona can help you or
Check out her LinkedIn Profile