Discover the Purpose Before Setting the Goal

During these times, our zeal to get back to normal and drive business forward is quite important. Goals are set and we create plans that can get us there. But what might get overlooked is the purpose behind the goals. The “why” before the “how.”

A recent example demonstrates what I mean.

I was introduced to a healthcare professional who was having difficulty getting her patients engaged in their personal healthcare development plans. Many of them were not following through on the steps required in the plan. In determining her development goals, we focused on the topics she had to cover with new patients so that they understood their care plan, The topics were certainly essential as they included reviewing the plan, understanding insurance coverage, acknowledging the plan’s financial investment, and realizing the importance of scheduling weekly appointments. We also discussed that her patients’ goals would only be met if they honored their health development schedule.

Once I heard this agenda, however, I paused my client and asked if she ever spent time asking each patient what was important to them?

She considered that for a moment and admitted that no, she never did.

We both shared this spontaneous epiphany: she had been focusing on the goals of the plan and not the purpose. Together, we realized that each patient’s reason for wanting improved health was never uncovered to fuel the attention, commitment, and urgency to their efforts.

The balance of the session focused on asking the seminal questions to determine what was most important to each patient so she could retrofit their purpose into the goals of their health plan.

Some of the questions, which you can tailor to your clients, were:

  • Why is improved health important to you?
  • Why is it essential now?
  • What would a healthier you look and act like?
  • Where would you like your health to be by December?
  • What might prevent you from sticking to your plan?
  • How would you like me to support you in this endeavor?

My client began to realize that without understanding what was most important to each patient, she would not be able to effectively convince them they needed to adhere to their plan.

Within thirty minutes of our session, she had a positive result! The next patient she met with committed to their plan for the balance of this year.

The lesson for all of us is that people are motivated by a host of different reasons. If we don’t discover what they are, then we can’t truly be effective in helping them achieve their goals. Going forward, be sure to know your client’s purpose for wanting the results they want, then present your recommendations.