When a coach understands the client, develops rapport, and communicates effectively, coaching sessions are an ideal opportunity for a client to fully explore their goals and possibilities. The coach uses their communication skills, primarily listening and effective questioning, to support the client as they explore their goals, desired outcomes, focus, barriers, and strategies.
When considering what they want, clients may have a tendency to focus on the past, problems, and circumstances and define what they do not want. A coach works with the client to focus forward and explore possibilities.
While many have a few specific goals in mind, full exploration brings out goals a client may have forgotten and goals that are in the beginning stages of consideration. A coach starts by asking the client simply, “What do you want?” The coach listens to the client, noting what they talk about and in what order. Clients may talk about what is easy and comfortable, or they may explore goals in what they consider their order of priority. After the client shares what they think of, the coach continues exploring possibilities by asking the client questions about what they want both in areas the client addressed and in areas not yet covered.
By taking time to list a broad range of goals, the client is empowered to consider all areas of their life and all types of goals. The coach works with the client to first create a broad list, then further explores top priorities. The broad exploration of goals affords the client the opportunity to really identify what is important and choose what to work on first.
Coaches focus forward and this is naturally empowering to the clients, encouraging the exploration.