In “The Impossible Dream” Don Quixote sings:

This is my quest
To follow that star
No matter how hopeless
No matter how far

Last week I presented a coaching workshop at the Summer Literacy Workshop in St. Cloud (welcome to those attendees to my list!)

Someone asked how she could help people set and follow-through on realistic goals.

When I was in coaching school I asked my teacher what a coach was supposed to do if a client came up with a seemingly truly unattainable goal—like a paraplegic wanting to play professionally in the National Basketball Association.

She said it was not a coach’s job to disappoint a client.  The world could do that, but not the coach.

What I’ve learned through my own coaching is that part of my job is to help clients break down the process.  To help them find the steps that will reveal to them (not to me) whether or not their goals truly represent what they can and want to do.

Sometimes the only way to know is by starting down that path and following that star.

I almost always ask a client who says they’re committed to a certain goal or action: “What would be the best way to achieve that?”  and “What’s one step you can take in that direction this week?”

Time will reveal to them (without my judgment) whether or not they have the skills and stamina and will to continue.  Traveling the path will reveal the obstructions and (sometimes) unexpected assistance.

Some part of the world may say “no” unequivocally to certain goals.  Then it’s the coach’s job to help the person see if they want to continue, or if they want to find another expression for that goal.

Next week I’ll share a technique that can help you find the value that’s being expressed by a client’s goal, and how that can lead to alternative actions for it.

Until then, may we pursue our paths and help others to identify theirs,

Best wishes,