Help People Envision Great Outcomes
Updated: Nov 3
If, for instance, the person you’re coaching—whether they are a colleague, friend, or direct report—complains about coworkers, the lack of advancement in the company, or other things outside their control, they will remain very frustrated.
If you help them reframe their goal as an action or new way of thinking they can personally adopt a new outlook and stay in control of making it a reality.
Recognizing lack of control In coaching the individual, the only way to be effective is to help the individual become empowered to make changes themselves.
If someone feels stymied by their job, you might help them shift their focus to actions, training, preparation, or other initiatives that can enhance their role, rather than waiting for you or others to place them in a new position (unless, of course, that’s a viable option).
You can best help the person reframe their desired outcome in terms of what they can actually achieve by simply asking one or some of the following questions:
“Is this in your control?”
“Is this something that you have the power to change?”
“Can we restate the goal in terms of something you can control?”
“Can you state your goal as something you will change versus what others need to change?”
Make the goal positive A great outcome is stated positively. In other words, instead of saying something like “I want to stop getting so mad at my peers in the lab,” you can help the person state it in terms of “I want to offer helpful solutions when I feel frustrated with my coworkers.” Or “I want to remain calm when other people make me feel stressed.” To coach on building a positive outcome, you may simply ask, “Can we restate that in the positive?” “Is there a way to turn that around and have you choose a positive response in this situations?”
Ensure the goal is the right size It’s really important to make sure that the outcome is the proper size. If the outcome is too large or grandiose, it will be difficult to achieve it in a timely fashion and feel good about it. You can help the person break down a too-large goal into workable chunks.
Conversely, some individuals have goals that are too narrow or specific, which will lead to frustration when they can’t be achieved exactly in the desired form. An example would be someone who wants a very specific job description as the next step in their career. If it’s too narrow, the goal may not be in reach and is therefore out of their control.
There are quite a few details to consider when helping someone envision a great outcome. As you help them build an aligned outcome, you will be halfway to helping them achieve something meaningful.
Read The Feedback Imperative for more information on how to give great feedback!