The smarter the goals, the more dangerous they are in coaching.

Coaching is all about interventions.

Everything you do with clients is an intervention in their lives.

Or it is about putting in perspective the interventions that life has to offer.

Your clients learn form these interventions.

And, as with every good learning, the process is more important than the result. Most schools, sadly, haven’t figured this out yet. I hope you have.

Ill’say it again, because this is really important.

The process is more important than the result. It is about growth mindset.

As a coach you will have a goal with your client, and that’s okay. But please . . . forget that goal during your coaching!

The smarter the goals the more dangerous they are in coaching.

Because by their very nature they focus on results. (And the time factor alone will kill everything.)

And strange as it may seem, it’s also not about the actions.

I know!


Because all these actions and results are visible successes! Good for the confidence of your coachee (and let’s be honest, good for your confidence and your marketing too).

But the
“I finally did it!”,
“Hey! I can pull this off!”,
“I did something, I didn’t dare before!”
are meaningless in the light of what your clients felt when they did it.

If they felt anything at all.

Because, when the challenge is too big, they shut down their emotion.

I remember a summer when I looked up at my older brother because he could dive from the highest dive board.

He made a project out of me diving form the highest board that summer. As a real coach he worked on me, telling me that I could, that I had it in me. So, in the end, maybe just because I didn’t want to disappoint him, I did it.

But that didn’t mean I faced my fear. I just blocked my fear long enough.
I never dived from a high board again.

This is what happens when you focus on results. Your coachees will block their feelings. And if they are not aware of that, you not only missed a chance, but you’ve just taught them a new avoiding mechanism.

On a scale of scary, from one to ten, your clients need to work on a level not higher than a four.

Then, they are able to feel, because then there is room for fun, next to the sacry bit. They can laugh at their faults. They can make room to really feel what is going on inside them.

They can play.

You only learn when it is playful.




It is your task as a coach to help your client bring down the interventions that life deals, to a four.  And that is not always possible, I know, life is good at dealing the unexpected. But when that happens, it is good for your client to know that she dealt with a seven or even a ten.

And as for the exercises you assign (which are kind of your interventions on remote control), make them a one a two or a three. Make them playful. Design them for your client, so that they can include them in their own routines.  These exercises are not about the results, but about to get to learn what is going on inside them, while they are doing them.


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