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Help Your Clients Visualize and Achieve Their Goals

Coaching is a powerful tool for individuals who are facing challenges and striving to reach their goals. However, clients often come to coaches unsure of how to navigate the process.


In this blog post, we will explore a powerful coaching method called "Help your Client Visualize a Goal." This method is inspired by Aristotle's philosophy, which states that every story starts with an introduction of characters and problems (beginning), then shows the characters trying to solve those problems (middle), and finally shows the results of her actions (end).


This method also utilizes the concept of "The Third Card", which acts as a bridge or stepping stone between the current situation and the goal. The Third Card represents the actions, steps, or changes in perspective that need to be taken in order to move from the current situation towards the goal.


Furthermore, this article shows how method can assist you in guiding your clients to find her own path forward.

What are the Goals of this Method?

  • Transform abstract aspirations into tangible and visual concepts that represent the client's journey.
  • Encourage your client to think creatively and holistically about her goals.
  • Facilitate exploration of emotions, positive psychology, and life design.
  • Offer a unique way of engaging with your client and create a deeper understanding of her goals.

Preparing for the Method

  1. Prepare a variety of image cards that can represent emotions and life situations in the context of your client. You can download high-quality images from websites like Unsplash or choose from collections such as 'World of Emotions', 'Positive Psychology', or 'Design Your Life' on metafox.eu.
  2. Create a comfortable and safe space to help your client feel at ease sharing her thoughts and emotions. This could mean making the atmosphere warm and welcoming, using soft lighting and comfortable seating. It is also important to encourage your client to interpret the cards in her own way and express herself without fear of judgment or criticism.
  3. Select about 25-40 cards and lay them out in front of your client to create a visual foundation for the method. This approach prompts her to think creatively and holistically about goals, motivation, challenges and ressources. It helps your client explore her emotions and thoughts more deeply.

Step-by-Step Guide in Facilitating the Method

1. Starting point: Invite your client to pick a picture that shows how she feels right now. Make her feel safe by asking open-ended questions to help her see how they are and begin talking more.


2. Choose target image: It is important to understand clearly what the client wants to achieve. You can do this by asking the client to choose a picture that represents her goal. After choosing the picture, help your client color it by asking questions like: "What about the goal is represented in the image? What else is missing?”
“Which details of the image give it meaning? What about the composition?”
“Once you reach the goal, how will that make you feel? How is this feeling represented in the image?" 


3. Obstacles and resources One way to reach a goal is to use a route that outlines the path your client needs to take. This includes identifying obstacles and resources as key landmarks. Help your client identify what she need to succeed on her path. It can be helpful to think about the resources or companions that would provide support and guidance to your client. 
The resources could be anything from books to podcasts or a trusted mentor or friend. By building strong foundation, it ensures her that she has the tools necessary to overcome any challenges that may arise on their path. For the different landmarks, let the client select images that represent them. In order to select the right cards, you may follow options:

  • Be Intuitive

To choose a card, ask your client to stay with an open mind and heart while picking a card. Ask your client to go with her gut and pick the cards that feels right.

  • Let the universe decide

You can shuffle the deck and let your client choose the first card that catches her eye, or pick one at random and trust that it's the right one for her. Often the interpretation is more important then the ‘perfect’ selection.

  • Give a clear frame

You can give your client a frame for her choice. This could mean the choice between a limited number of cards, limiting the time for the selection process or the number of cards that can be chosen. Many people prefer a very clear frame to know what is expected from them.


4. Build the timeline

Once all necessary cards are selected, let your client put them on the floor in one line. One end should be marked by the goal card, the client should stand in front of the other end. The rest of the cards lie in between in the chronological order in which the client expects the obstacle/resource to matter most, i.e. if the obstacle is coming up soon it should be closer to the starting point.


5. Live the timeline

Finally let the client walk alongside the image path and let her stop at every card. Let you client feel at each step what the essence of the obstacle/resource means to her and ask if they fully grasp it. If not let her dig deeper and support her to understand, which meaning and consequences lie in each card. Only if they have a clear emotional connection to the underlying meaning, let her go to the next card. Once the client reaches the goal card let her look back on the journey, review the images. This will help your client to start the journey now - with the end in mind. Guiding questions can be:

  • On a scale of 1-10 how confident are you to reach your goal?
  • How does it feel to have reached the goal?
  • Who do you want to thank after reaching your goal?

Variation: Reflecting the past for more resources

Provide space for self-reflection and let your client take a moment to think about her route in life so far. You can use the same exercise to build up a route from a certain point in the past up to the present moment. This often helps with the understanding that the client has already mastered great challenges, reached goals and has plenty of resources. Guiding questions can be:

  • How have your experiences and obstacles shaped your path? How have they shaped you? What skills did you learn to excel in?
  • How did your relationships influence the direction you have taken? Who can you rely on?
  • How has your personal growth affected your journey?

6. Debriefing

After the session, take some time to debrief. Let your client talk about how she experienced the exercise. Discuss how the chosen images align with her current situation, goal, resources and obstacles. Reflect on the emotions invoked during the process and any new insights gained.


7. Anchoring

Let your client take all the cards she selected and let her write down the important reflections she had on the backside. Then gift them to her to put up on a wall in her home. This will anchor the experience physically in the space she lives in and will help her to stay on the track towards her goal.


Outlook

By utilizing visualization techniques and incorporating visual aids such as pictures, you can help your clients gain clarity and plan the steps to achieve their goals and anchor the experience emotionally. This approach fosters creative thinking and keeps your clients engaged in the coaching process.

Remember, coaching is about guiding, not dictating. By helping clients find their own path, you enable them to take ownership of their growth and create sustainable success. Ready to transform your coaching sessions and empower your clients to visualize and achieve their goals? Try implementing this method in your next session together with metaFox coaching tools!

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