A client in supervision the other day asked how I distinguish between goals and outcomes in the context of coaching assignments and contracts, and I found myself considering the following metaphor.
I may have a goal that I want to get from London to Edinburgh, and there will be a range of steps that enable me to get there. So the goal is achieved when I arrive in Edinburgh.
However, when I think of an outcome, I’m more interested in who I will be as a person and how I will have changed as a result of the journey once I get there.
As we explored this, what struck me was that sometimes the coach feels a lot of pressure to help/push/drive the coachee to reach the goal or destination, and both parties may perhaps overlook how the coachee is changing, learning and developing as a person, as a result of the journey, regardless of the specified destination.
On reflection, I realise that I am much more attuned to engaging with clients around their outcomes, rather than their goals, on the basis of my own interpretation of these terms.
Photo: Andi Campbell-Jones