Coaching is a goal-focused approach, so the ability to elicit clear, well-defined, and emotionally engaging goals from a coachee is another essential competency for you to possess.


Goals operate as a self-regulatory instrument that guides the planning and focuses the coachee's energies and thinking on a clear objective. Whilst the individual being coached is responsible for setting the agenda (goal), as coach it is your responsibility to be familiar with how to set motivating and attainable goals.

One of the most popular goal-setting tools is the SMART method . This means that the goal must be:

• Specific in its definition of what the coachee wishes to achieve at the end of the process.
• Measurable so that progress towards it can be tracked.
• Attainable, whilst it might challenge the person in terms of their knowledge or skills it is not an impossible aim.
• Relevant to that individual in order to perform their role better.
• Time-bound - that is, completed within a defined time frame.

Coaching meets the 'time-bound' criterion because by its very nature it is short term, while its focus ensures that it is 'relevant.' You will work alongside the coachee using your questioning techniques to ensure that the coaching goal they set has a clear statement of what they want to achieve (and so is 'specific'), as well as being practical in terms of its 'attainability.'


The coachee's goal must also be 'measurable.' Without this aspect neither you nor the coachee will be able to assess how well they are progressing towards their goal.

The questions you ask need to have a goal-focused mindset. For example,
'How does doing X help you reach your goal?'
'What measures will you use to track your progress?'
'How realistic do you think X is?'

Setting this type of goal benefits the coaching process as it motivates the individual and it is easy to recognize when the goal has been attained. You can download the free eBook ' Effective Goal Setting ' from this website. This eBook explains how to use the theory of goal setting to set practical targets that can be incorporated into the coaching process.

You may also be interested in:
Management Coaching Skills and Models | Coaching and Active Listening | Asking Questions in a Coaching Session | Giving Feedback to the Coachee | Building Rapport with the Coachee | Demonstrating Empathy and Using Intuition in Coaching | Coaching Models and 'The Inner Game' | The GROW Coaching Model | The TGROW Coaching Model | The OSKAR Coaching Model | Organizational Barriers to Coaching .

Key Points

  • One of the most popular goal-setting tools is the SMART method. This means that the goal must be: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
  • The ability to elicit clear, well-defined, and emotionally engaging goals from a coachee is an essential competency.
  • You can download an eBook on 'Effective Goal Setting' from this website.

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