Curly Martin

Curly Martin

How to get clients to see the power of goal setting

Tags: , , , , , , , , Coaching, Tips

Yellow-DaisiesThis is the fastest activity I know, which is easy to use, quick to use and gives a powerful demonstration of the importance of goal setting. I use it on the workshop part of the Life Coaching Diploma IIC&M Level 7.

Let me prove this in a simple way so that you understand. Please do the things I ask of you without looking to the end of the activity. By following the instructions you will experience the power and speed of this exercise and then you will be congruent when you use it with your clients! Congruency is paramount to building rapport. So get yourself ready to do the activity – are you ready?

Part One
Think of the colour yellow.

Now look around you and find everything that is yellow. Look behind, to your sides, above and below. DO THIS VERY QUICKLY. Go on! Have a good look for YELLOW in the room.

Great now stop looking around and click to go to part two.

Part Two
Now, answer this question: “How many blue things did you see?”

“That’s not fair,” I hear you say! “You told me to look for the yellow.”

Yes, I did, and this is a very good example of what often happens when clients set goals. The goal (looking for yellow) is stated in clear precise terms and clients will usually find what they are looking for. Once clients have a clear goal they will filter out ‘stuff’ which does not fit the goal, thereby making it easier to see the things which match or help them achieve the goal. If you are specific in what you are looking for (yellow) it is an odds-on favourite that you will always find it. Simple but effective! This can be used when working face2face with clients, using Skype and over the phone.

Now there is another factor you can use here, your clients personal filtering.

In the activity above, if I had given you the opportunity to select your own colour you would be more involved. As soon as you select your colour, you have a more personal involvement in the activity and probably will look a little bit harder to find items displaying the colour you selected. Either way, you will filter out most of the other colours in your vicinity to complete the task. The added factor when you choose the colour is your attachment to the colour. There could be underlying beliefs about the colour, for example, ‘I chose green because it is a lucky colour for me.’

Had I let you choose the colour, and look around for it; you were asked the question

‘How many blue (I would state a different colour than yours) things did you see?’ your feelings would have been stronger. You would have felt the trick more powerfully. Thus have a stronger reason for setting goals.

For clarity, (you know I love clarity) if you let your client choose the colour – they must tell you the colour before the activity begins. The thing to expound for your clients is that if your clients choose their goals, they will have a greater attachment to their goals and are more likely to find the route to succeeding in those goals because they will be filtering out the unnecessary distractions. Go and have fun with this easy to use activity!

About curly

Curly Martin is the pioneer of Life Coaching in the UK. She is an outstanding Trainer and Coach. To book one of her training courses go to

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