• Andrew Matthews

Coaching Goal Evolution

Coaching is a purposeful conversation that will evokes insight into change, fires up volition to affect change and accountability to see the change come to fruition.



A natural link to coaching is the skills of goal setting and overtime there may have been a general sense that coaching is for those who can't set and achieve goals on their own. There is a plethora of goal setting tools out there and each can be valuable. My first tool was SMART goal setting (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time bound) which has offered some value to me at times.


The issue that I find is having tools that simplify goal setting can, and often does, alienate people from defining the change. Taking a simple model to make something “specific” can start to become a bit brutal when there is only a growing sense to work with. the metaphor of if the only tool you have is a hammer everything looks like nail. Having such a simplistic view on the coaching process waters down the potential richness of coaching.


Something that is liberating in the coaching process is recognising that goals have levels. Prof. David Clutterbuck captured a wonderful reflection on the coaching process and named levels of goal evolution:


  • An itch (a sense that something is not right)

  • A formative question (something that gives form to the itch and begins the process of articulation)

  • A better question (or more often a series of them), which in turn leads to ever better questions

  • A definable desired outcome, which the client can begin to work on achieving

Prof. D Clutterbuck, “The Liberated Coach” pg. 7


This invites a wider view of what is specifically up for discussion, and significantly changes the approach and feel at each step of goal evolution. Often just by being able to figure out what the “itch” is results in a significant outcome of coaching and the gates are opened to making the change come to fruition. Whereas working with a definable desired outcome may require figuring out your personal flavoured strategy on achieving solutions. This liberation of the coaching process creates high levels of responsiveness to a coaching partnership and ensuring appropriate focus on the client’s real needs.


Coaching is a rich place of personal evolution and growing into your personal flavour of life, it is so important that models and tools don’t get in the way. If you are interested in exploring your growing awareness of your itch for change, feel free to contact me, or book a free chemistry session with me now.

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CONTACT

Andrew Matthews

Pretoria & online (via Zoom)

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+27 (0) 83 264 2229

Andrew@EvokeUnlimited.net

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