A Coaching Power Tool created by Maria Gardner J
(Relationships & Boundaries For Freedom Coach, UNITED STATES)
An unexamined life is not worth living.
The foundation of chosen values and balanced priorities is protected by boundaries that provide margin and are maintained by disciplined flexibility. These support the ultimate goal’s two essential components, which result in achievement of the ultimate goal.
I have constructed this Power Tool pyramid inductively, with the foundation of Chosen Values and Balanced Priorities at the bottom and each successive layer representing the next logical step toward fulfillment of the ultimate goal.
In coaching practice, however, I take a top-down deductive approach. This is consistent with coaching and adult-learning theory: both recognize the importance of internal motivation provided by a stimulated imagination. The pull of a client-chosen ultimate goal provides the motivation to engage in the process of creating and adhering to a plan to achieve it. Notice that layer 3 – the beginning of a concrete plan – is Step 4 as shown.
Starting at the top provides the client the opportunity to determine her personal choice of an ultimate goal. One example might be a fulfilled life. I use powerful questions to help clients determine the content of the top triangle for themselves. It then provides motivation for them to continue the process of creating structure to support that ultimate goal.
Sometimes the process delivers new insights that cause a client to go back and modify his initial choice of ultimate goal – particularly if it doesn’t align with the values and priorities that emerge in Step 3 clarification.
The conversation with a client in Step 1 might include questions like:
What do you most want out of life? [Most people think of this in one of three ways, offering some insight into their thinking/motivation pattern:
- What do you want to have?
- What do you want to be?
- What do you want to do?
- If you knew you wouldn’t fail, what would you do?
- What would that do for you?
- If it is a means to an end, what is the end? What do you really want?
I continue a similar line of questioning until the client is satisfied that the ultimate goal is the desired end and not a means to something else.
The level below the ultimate goal contains the primary components perceived to comprise the goal. In the example given in Step 1 of a fulfilled life as the ultimate goal, the two components might be healthy relationships and long-term productivity. The client determines the components that comprise his ultimate goal.