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S3 E2 Setting Successful Coaching & Life Goals with Laura Ogilvie-Jones
Episode 219th December 2022 • Coaching in Focus • Become Coaching & Training Ltd
00:00:00 00:31:08

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This episode is with the fantastic Laura Ogilvie-Jones ( who is a Associate Certified Coach (ACC) with the International Coach Federation. On the episode we discuss the way that we can set goals that are meaningful and more holistic.

Laura is a qualified Careers Advisor and an Emotional Intelligence (EQ-i 2.0) assessor. She specialises in coaching individuals and groups to help them get unstuck, find purpose, clarity and fulfilment, both in and out of work, so they reach their goals and ambitions faster and are happier and more purposeful in work and life. 

[00:10] Introduction to Episode and the topic of setting goals

[01:40] Introduction by Laura Ogilvie-Jones

[02:40] Laura's development as a career coach

[07:20] The importance of working holistically as coaches

[11:10] Supporting clients set goals - focusing on where you are now.

[13:50] Using emotive goals rather than SMART ones

[17:10] Differences between a goal and a vision/dream

[21:00] The dreaded 'should'

[23:10] Monitoring Goals across a period of time

[21:10] Perfectionistic Tendencies getting in the way

[26:20] Inner-dialogue work

[29:50] Final Thoughts


Joseph: [:

But as I mentioned, it all was really nice to spend a bit of time with you and thanks for spending half an hour or. With myself and our listeners to talk about coaching goals.

Laura: You're very welcome.

Joseph: how are you doing today?

Laura: Good. Just trying to stay warm.


Joseph: same, same, same. I've got my cozy jumper out as you can see, but it's also kind of feeling.

Laura: blanket

Joseph: Yeah. Good stuff. We're all, we're all ready then. . We're all comfy. So, um, Laura, for those of us, uh, for those of our viewers who might not know who you are, could you just tell us a little bit about yourself and your coaching

n the world of education and [:

Joseph: Mm-hmm.

Laura: training.


Joseph: Yeah. And what got you into coaching then?

Laura: Well, it's probably quite a long story for now, but essentially, and actually this is a really funny thing,

that I found a diary that I had written in about, probably 12 years ago now, but it was about. And, and in there I'd done some sort of coaching type questions. I can't remember what it was, a book that I was reading or something

it had said, you know, all the kind of your goals and things that you want to achieve in life.

And one of those was to be a life coach.

Joseph: Oh wow.

t I just needed to get outta [:

I wasn't brave enough initially when I was doing the coaching sessions to just take the leap to make, you know, create my own coaching business.

why I did a stint doing the head hunting as a kind of halfway house. Which sounds a bit weird, but it, it, for me it was. And then I went back to the coach and said, no, I think actually I wanna do what you are doing.

So, um, she was ICF accredited. She'd actually done, um, training down London. There was another friend of mine who was a coach. So the two of them really helped me in terms of figuring out what kind of training qualifications I needed and, and wanted to do. And so that I knew it was icf. And then I did my initial course, um, with a company up here in Edinburgh.

And that's obviously how I met you cause you were doing some work for them. And then, Obviously did my advanced diploma and I'm just about to get my pcc and that's been via you and Become Coaching

Joseph: Yay. Yay. Can't wait for that. I've got the champagne ready to celebrate

Laura: Fingers crossed.

into our conversation today [:

Laura: I

Joseph: which is amazing.

Laura: is a, it is. Yeah. And I think it's good to remind yourself of that

always love that in a, when I do my sort of six, uh, initial coaching sessions with someone, I'm working with that final session where you do the reflection

Joseph: Mm-hmm.

Laura: They have more light bulb moments in that final session than in all the others

actually doing that reflection where you look back and you almost like can have a conversation, like, that's what I get to do.

So almost have a

with their previous self

well, you know, what would you say to yourself back then? You're like, yeah, actually, do you know what, and can achieve these things. I can do these things. And to have those kind of dreams and aspirations and goals is really important. Um, you know?


Joseph: Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Completely. So perhaps, um, as I mentioned, today's topic for the podcast is all about how do we set successful goals? How do we work with clients in terms of goal setting?

Laura: yeah.

Joseph: let's start maybe a little bit more around the type of clients who you work with. Do you work within a specific niche?

Tell us a bit more about.

Laura: Yeah, so I'm a career and life coach. That's what I call myself. Um, as you know, kind of you're a particularly ICF credited coach, you can coach pretty much in any area. But I think in terms of that niche thing, for me, it made sense. I've got a careers guidance qualification

me in terms of I am stuck in [:

That's always not always necessary. Um, but it's about that feeling that they're unfulfilled, they're unhappy, um, they feel like they're on the hamster wheel. They've kind of fallen into some kind of career or job.

Joseph: Mm-hmm.

Laura: they don't wanna be there and they

his won't just be about your [:

of course things that happen in your career, uh, will also affect your life and vice versa. So it's important that we kind of take into consideration more than just their professional life, but actually look at how that might affect others areas of their life. And often in that initial conversation, stuff will come up about family, about relationships, about money. you know,

Joseph: Hmm.

Laura: it's sort of crossing over into other areas their life.

So yes, all of my clients and people I work with, it's, um, the common theme is the kind of Korean professional, um, part of their life that they're stuck in. Um, but when I'm working with them, It will always be other things on top of that. And for some, like, you know, I, when I think back to my clients one, you know, came out of a not a healthy relationship at all.

t actually was the, for her, [:

That's the fascinating

Joseph: Yeah, yeah.

Laura: going on here.

Joseph: Yeah.

Laura: obviously there are somewhere, okay, yeah. It is just a career thing and we can focus entirely on that, or it's a leadership thing or whatever it is.

Joseph: So what I'm hearing?

No, it's a great answer. It's a great answer. And what I'm hearing from what you're saying is, Um, a sometimes when clients come in with a particular specific, um, career focused goals, it's important to consider other aspects in their lives that could be impacting that goal. But also this idea that actually most, you know, we need to work with our clients in a very human way that doesn't just segment, segment, just like one aspect of their life.

And we'll look at that in isolation,

Laura: Mm.

rent systems that come into. [:

Laura: Well, for me it's like the most important

Joseph: That's key, right? Yeah,

Laura: totally,

Joseph: that was a very leading question, but I

Laura: It was a very leading question. Yes. No, I think, um, and like I said, it's so important in my coaching that that is what we talk about in that very first initial discovery call.

if they're only, you know, if there's someone who, because I do offer sort of more career consulting as

addition to the coaching. So, but, so if they're saying to. no, I just need some help sort my CV out to get another job. Then

like, hmm, I'm not sure that coaching is the right thing

Joseph: Mm-hmm.

ant to do coaching, will get [:

of glass ceiling that create themselves and all that kind of stuff, you know, so, You know, I don't like, my coaching style is not transactional at all.

It's definitely transformational,

Joseph: Mm.

Laura: Um,

you know, I think, and, and generally, you know, by the time we've had that conversation, that's what everyone wants anyway, because to be honest with you, if you are saying, I wanna be more satisfied, more fulfilled, happier, more content, then this is not just about fixing your cv.

Joseph: Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Completely.

It's a, it's a much, uh, it's like a bigger picture approach, right? Rather than just targeting that one thing. So we're saying this exploration is key for us to really set goals intentionally. , what could be some of the things that you think we need to consider in order to set successful goals?

Laura: Well, [:

of that goal listening, is I, we need, you need to kind of figure out where you are. Right now

Joseph: mm-hmm.

Laura: So I always do a piece around that and now I use the Wheel of Life or something similar wheel of work with

whatever it is. But I think it's important that people know what is going on for me right now.

How am I feeling about all these different areas of my life, which of these areas of my life particularly, or my professional life that are really causing me the obstacles? So we do do a bit of a, a kind of deep dive in that initially to kind of get. Where are you right now in terms of, um, how you're feeling about everything, because that will also help narrow down to, okay.

I think it's probably this thing or these areas that I, that are not going according to plan. These are not where I wanna be. So that will help with obviously the goal setting stuff as well.

Joseph: Mm-hmm.

y check. Cause if you're not,[:

you don't, if you're not clear about that, the start, then the goals might not align with where you are anyway,

Joseph: It's fall on. Yeah. And we see that quite a lot, um, in new coaches right? There's this preoccupation to get to the goal.

Laura: yeah,

Joseph: in a way we don't do a thorough assessment of where are we at now?

Laura: yeah.

Joseph: currently happening in our life right now? It's like setting a PDP with goals of things that we want to achieve, but we're not examining the kind of skills that we have, the behaviors that we're using now.

And so, so that gap between where we are now, where we are now, and where we want to be, isn't actually really clear because we don't have that baseline measure. Right.

Laura: exactly. Exactly. So I think, you know, it's that kind of I understanding of where I am not terms of where I want to be. So it's like, what is not going well? You know, and getting really clear about that.

then what I do is obviously do that, a zooming out piece where, and I, um, do a little visual.

Just getting them [:

Joseph: Hmm.

Laura: fascinates me because that. us both, that there's something much more about this in terms of fulfillment and feeling happy and content,

Joseph: Yeah.

Laura: So the, we do the visualization. We do then set an inspirational goal on the back of that, which is not kind of necessarily what you might think in terms of goals, like smart goals or smart targets.

re they are. And this future [:

Joseph: Yeah. Yeah. So it seems that what is important here, as well is matching somebody's values, what's important to them, to this inspirational goal. Not just simply, I want to change jobs, but the meaning of that. What will that job change give you?

Why is that important to you? You know, what's actually, what really matters here?

Laura: Yeah, exactly. And, and it's, it's about, so what, I guess sort of how I frame it then would. okay, this is where you are now. This is where you said you want to be. This is the kind of person you wanna be. This is the kind of life you want. This is how you wanna feel. You know, and, and they will actually have got some words around that too, in terms of inspirational goal.

is really just how they are [:

if you, and, and, uh, because you know, often with, in terms of, um, people's careers and their jobs, thinking, well, I know what it feels like when I'm unhappy and I don't wanna get out of bed on a Monday morning.

And I feel like I'm on the hamster wheel and every day I come home

Joseph: Yeah.

Laura: angry and frustrated so they, they know what those feelings are like. But actually what's the other side? You know when things are going well and you're feeling amazing and your career's like absolutely, you're nailing it.

What does that actually feel like for you?

Joseph: Mm.

Laura: it's that kind of really honing in on that difference between these two different points.

Joseph: Yeah. Yeah,

Laura: it's about, okay, so once we kind of know what those. What do you need to do or, or what do you wanna look at in terms of your career and professional life?

maybe what you wanna create [:

that person you

and again, they wouldn't necessarily know at that point how they're gonna do it.

It's just about identifying. Yeah. I think if I look at that thing

Joseph: Hmm.

Laura: my career or life, that's gonna help. If I can somehow change it or address it or whatever.

Joseph: Yeah.

Laura: it's a kind of just getting broad picture stuff initially?

Joseph: It's interesting that you say that, and um, I'd welcome your thoughts on this because there's something that I, I see as well in my own clients that sometimes that there is a difference between somebody's vision or somebody's dream and somebody's goals. Uh, and, and it seems to resonate what you're saying now, so,

Laura: Yeah.

Joseph: They'll come to coaching about a goal they wanna achieve in five years time.

coaching program, we've got, [:

Where do you want to be on that path to getting there? Because I think sometimes it can get a bit confusing between that big vision and how we're gonna get to the vision and actually then chunking that down

Laura: Mm-hmm.

Joseph: a bit more practically in a way. I mean, I'm not, I don't wanna stifle that vision or that dream, but also I want to get a bit of a, um, a container for the coaching program so that we can then more skillfully work through the time that we're gonna have to get out.

I mean, what do you think?

Laura: Well, so I think this is exactly the same as what I do my clients.

Joseph: Mm. Okay.

Laura: between how you feel

Joseph: Mm-hmm.

Laura: then what the practical actions are that could lead to that. Now, often what people start with is they start with the what are the practical actions that I need to do.

Joseph: Yeah.

rom, okay, how will you feel [:

whatever it is that, you know, get that new career, how will that make you feel? Because actually, if you are just focusing on the. end point and you haven't got an emotional connection with that, then you are much less likely to achieve the thing anyway.

And also, this is the bit where obviously we are doing the work across the six sessions when I work with my clients, is that you start off down one route and you think, yeah, that's the thing that's gonna get me there. And then partway through, there's a massive obstacle barrier or something that comes up or. realize I am not at all This is not leading me where I want it to go.

not making me feel.

give you an example. So, um, of my clients, um, this is just a couple of weeks ago actually, She had set herself these three things she wanted to do at work. So like, I can't remember, was one was to have a meeting with someone, one was to send an email to someone, blah, blah, blah.

ell, I've not done anything. [:

And she said, it just feels like it's something I should do and it's on my to-do list and I don't want to do them. So clearly this is, you're not connected to these things at all then, and this is not what you should be doing. So then we went back to the, okay, let's go back to that. imagine and that sort of, um, vision and that inspirational goal for you.

How, you know, how do you wanna feel? And let's look at some other alternatives. What, what do you wanna do then that would make you feel more like this? And she was like, well, it's probably this, this, and this.

Joseph: Hmm.

practical day-to-day, month [:

Joseph: Yeah. Yeah. And um, That's so interesting, right? Because that is a part where the real coaching work happens. I find where things get a bit challenging for the client because a client could have been thinking about those three action points for. Weeks or months. But, uh, but the exploration that happens in terms of how they feel in relation to those goals, what that tells them about them, um, the, the pressures that they might have found from the systems that they're in, in terms of these are the type of goals that I should be having versus the type of goals I want to have.

Laura: Yeah.

Joseph: that's what the real work.

Laura: the flag point. As soon as I hear that word should,

Joseph: Mm-hmm.

Laura: like, okay, I'm just gonna let's just dig a dip deeper. There

Joseph: let's see.

who? Who is that should for,[:

usually it's for someone else or it's, well, that's probably what, you know, the world thinks I should do, or my boss

Joseph: Mm-hmm.

Laura: know, other people in my life.

It's what, what? What do you think you should do?

Joseph: So what we're saying is that there needs to be some emotional connection to the goal.

We need to assess our, kind of our current reality where we are now looking quite holistically at all the different things. Then how do we support somebody actually, um, how to stick to the goals or do check-ins to make sure that the goals are still valid. Because like you said, some of these goals might change in time.

How do you work with that with your client, this kind of goal maintenance in.

Laura: Yeah, well, the, the onus is always on them,

Joseph: Mm-hmm.

Laura: say to them, I'm not gonna be a teacher who's gonna tell you off for not doing your homework,

Joseph: Yeah. Yeah.

Laura: Um, so they set them, but we, you know, we kind of craft these together as well. Um, and I'll do a bit of a sense check around does this feel appropriate?

And then [:


everybody else, every, some people's, no, it's okay. I've got. Partner who I'm telling them all about this, so that's fine, but actually sometimes they really appreciate that is actually saying no. Do you know what, um, by the end of today, I'm gonna email that person and then I'm gonna send you an email and tell you that I've done that thing.

I've done that thing I said [:

That's totally fine. again, won't sort of start this next session saying, right. How'd you get on with your to-do list? Because it's not very helpful,

Joseph: And, and as you're saying that, I mean, you might smile at this, it's, uh, it's reminding me of of of how we are so different as coaches, right? Because I, in a way, do, you know, I don't do any accountability checks, like, you know this cuz we talked about it before. Um, uh, so it's important for anyone as well who is listening to think about how do I.

My coach to support me in terms of these goals, right? Because different coaches will have different approaches how they work with goal setting and, and it's an important thing about what is it that I want from my coaching relationship? What is it, you know, how do I want to work with my coach?

volved because I think I was [:

They then get on with their goals and actions, then we just check in next session. But I think for some it's that kind of, okay, there is that extra level of support if I want it, and I, and even if they don't take me up on it, I think it's sort of part and parcel, sort of a bit of a business model for me.


of something that. you know, is there as a, as a sort of additional support if they wanted.

Joseph: Yeah. Yeah.

Laura: found it really helpful. You know, as an I get a detailed report of everything that's happened between sessions and that's fine

know, that's useful for them bringing

onal analysis point of view, [:

Bar, are they doing this for themselves?

Laura: yeah,

Joseph: in a way I'm a conduit to all of that happening.

Laura: yeah,

Joseph: I've just noticed a time when we're getting quite close to the end of our podcast and there's so many things that , I still want to talk to you about . So let's start, let's start in a way unwinding down our conversation.

So for those of, for those individuals who, who, who might be listening and thinking, Setting some goals. What are some techniques or obstacles that they, that you would say they need to be aware of when it comes to goal setting?

als? If you are not, they're [:

It's as

Joseph: Yeah. Yeah.

Laura: so I think there's that check. I think for a technique that I will often use, would be around what inner dialogue is going.

Joseph: Mm-hmm.

Laura: sometimes again, those obstacles and barriers, there are own obstacles and barriers there, our own things that we're telling ourselves like, you're not good enough for that.

You can't ever achieve that thing. You, you know, all that kind of stuff that's going on. So I think it's really important to be aware of that. And often what happens when we set ourselves new goals is the bit of inner dialogue that is often that kind of, um, younger version ourselves, the not helpful version of ourselves, the one that's, um, that is fed by. We'll start being really loud, as in cuz you, cuz you are putting yourself out there by saying, right, I want to achieve this thing by this time.

Joseph: Hmm.

Laura: then this little inner, inner dialogue goes, you can't do that. You'll never achieve that. Who do you think you are for doing that thing? Imposter syndrome, all of that stuff creeps up.

at's going on with that. And [:

You can do this thing. So it's about dialing down that, um, younger. in a dialogue, which is, um, sorry. The one that's driven more by fear, you know, the unhelpful one and try to dial up the more helpful, compassionate, kind one. And that, that little technique is, uh, and yes, it is sort of c B T esque style, but it's really helpful I think, whereby it's like, given that, you know, it's, it's listening to that, that side of you that say you can't do that.

And it's like, okay, have your, say, have your voice I'm going to hear you. But actually the other part of you gives that metaphorical. look, we've got this. It's gonna


really scared by this goal that you set yourself, but we've got this. It's gonna be okay. So I think n noticing that and what's going on is really helpful when you're goal setting.

Joseph: Great,

reat, great. Yeah, it's, um, [:

Essentially, there's a different, again, we're going into a bit of C B T esque type of a discussion, but it is really useful just noticing and differentiating between those different voices.

Like I can think something and I might absorb the information and I might believe that's who I am, but. Um, it doesn't have to be just because I thought something doesn't mean that I actually believe that.

Laura: Yeah, totally. And often that, that in a dialogue comes from, you know, or something else anyway, you know?

Joseph: those shoulds that were mentioned earlier.

ing to grow or push yourself [:

know, that's just, but, and, and often the reason people don't reach their goals, uh, and don't achieve what they want to is because of themselves, and it's their own stuff going on that prevents

Joseph: Yeah.

Laura: Yeah.

Joseph: Great. Well, well Laura, um, I won't take too much more of your time today, um, but I want to thank you so, so much for being with me today for discussing this topic. I know that so many of viewers will find this helpful cuz it's a question that we get a lot around, you know, goal setting, how do I set more realistic goals, goals that I can achieve.

So thanks for sharing a bit of your insight and a bit of your practice as.

Laura: You're very welcome. It's been great speaking to you, Joseph

Joseph: Same here. Take care.