Coach's Corner

Behind the Goal

A focus on impacting connective factors.

The Now: The moment in coaching where you are completely in the present and able to focus on powerful action.

Welcome to the NOW!

In the “now,” we are present, open to positive conversation, and ready to define our action plans. It’s this phase that helps us create our most clearly defined goals. Generally, most professionals tend to use the S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound) system to set the intent but in order to truly bring a defined goal to life, we need to also determine the true reason why it’s in our “now” to begin with.

Imagine you just received a new case. You’ll naturally say there are things that need to be done because they’re simply part of a process that must take place. You’ll likely start looking deeper into the details noting pieces that might be missing while finding questions that might need answers. Fact is though, whether you’re a paralegal or an attorney looking through the case, your goals should not be focused on simply going through the motions, but rather, the definitive results that carry into our belief structures.

In the book, “Hard Goals: The Secret to Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be,” author Mark Murphy expresses that it isn’t just about setting the intention via a clearly defined goal but rather, connecting to the deeper purpose behind the goal that matters. In his words:

“People spend way too much time trying to figure out how to trick themselves into implementing mediocre goals. … Listen, all the daily rituals in the world won’t help us achieve greatness if the very goal we’re trying to habitualize is weak.”

While Murphy teaches a concept in his book to go beyond the S.M.A.R.T. approach to goal-setting, his point is deeply connected to the purpose of not just the goal, but the person achieving it.

In coaching, we focus on the “why” as the source of the connective factor. We use deeply impacting connective statements within goals as the pathway to the why. Surface-level or obscure goals such as, “I want to get to my next level” or “I want to do a good job for the client” tend to not assist with connective reasoning and are therefore non-lasting. Instead, we look for connective statements similar to: “Being able to confidently advocate on my client’s behalf will help them want to grow with me so that we can both have impactful career success.”

In this deeper example above, you can see the connective value and discover the roots of the desire for an impactful career. From there, it becomes significantly easier to build into clearly defining the S.M.A.R.T. goal specifically because it has formed value beyond the superficial.

The process of examining the why for something carries with it a slew of complexities but once achieved, can have a consistently resonating strength for future success.

Take a minute to truly ask yourself: “Why do I want to do well at my job?”

Whatever answer you just gave, is there a deeper reason? Is there a deeper answer you could give as a result?

Now, try asking yourself: “What specific thing can I improve so that I can do better at my job?”

Without a true connection to the “why” from the first question, the second question isn’t going to truly motivate you as much.

This is the exact reason current research suggests that approximately 80 to 90 percent of New Year resolutions get dropped within the first one to two months!

Whether the goals are professionally based, fitness-related, financial, and/or educational, fact is, without a true connective value, the goal is less likely to come to fruition.

Think about it, have you ever given up on a resolution you set for yourself? What made you give up? Did you make it with an onslaught of connective emotion that eventually faded and left you disconnected to the idea? Exactly.

This same concept applies to us in our personal lives just as much as it applies to us in our professional lives. To build growth, your thought process should always focus on deeply connecting to your goals so that what you discover about yourself spurs you on to achieve your best.

The New Year is coming and the stage in the firm is now set for you to achieve greatness even more. Before simply saying that you just want to do well because you want to advance in your career or that you want to push yourself to be better, find your connective factor. Doing this will not only help your clients want to root for you, but it’ll help you unlock the potential you might have been holding back all along.

You’re in the now. Let’s unlock your next level.

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