Do you REALLY want that?

Johan asked Shenai, his coaching client, about a goal she wanted to work towards. Her quick answer was “to get an MBA”.  In his normal coaching way, Johan asked about what was motivating and interesting about an MBA. Shenai responded with some pat answers that sounded well-rehearsed and often repeated. His sense was that she didn’t really want to do an MBA, but something else was driving her.  As they investigated her motivations, she realised that she wasn’t truly interested in what an MBA would give her; it was more of a ‘should’ than a ‘want’. What she did want was the credibility, the prestige and ultimately to measure up to her older brother – which she finally admitted was the main driver. She’d always been competitive with him, so since he had an MBA, she should too.

She didn’t really want to get an MBA, she wanted to want it.

That’s a completely different kind of wanting. Going after something you think you should do usually will not bring satisfaction or enjoyment.

We often say we want something because

  • We think we should want it.
  • We think we’re the kind of person who would achieve that goal.
  • We’ve been trained that this is what we (women, men, professionals, good human beings) do.
  • We want to look good.
  • We want to qualify for a prestigious job.
  • We want to be as good as others around us.
  • Our inner critic criticises us for not wanting it or for not making the ‘right’ choices like everyone else.

We are highly influenced by the culture we live in, by the people we surround ourselves with. Our emotions and therefore our desires are highly influenced by what others are doing, what they think is good and what they are getting.

To be honest about what we really want requires us to see ourselves separate from others and dare to be different and unique. Only then can we truly look at what we want independent from others.

As coaches and leaders, we can help our clients and direct reports get real about what truly motivates them and help them find a path that will be satisfying and productive for them. 

Helping our clients to recognise their true ‘wants’ as opposed to their ‘shoulds’ can position them closer to a satisfying and successful life.

Coaches Going Corporate

Coaches Going Corporate

Coaches Going Corporate helps you build finesse and nuance in your coaching.

more info