Coaches are agents of change, helping clients get from where they are to where they want to go. One of the many ways they do this is through visioning—a clear, mental picture of the future. This “ideal future” is more than a dream; it’s a reality that does not yet exist. Because visions can easily fade or die, a coach’s role is “holding” the vision for the client as he or she moves toward it.
While visioning is always an important component of coaching, it is even more so in the early stages of the coaching relationship. Without it, clients become stuck. A vision draws the client forward and allows him or her to identify and take practical, strategic steps to reach their goal.
Asking Powerful Questions
Powerful questions that foster visioning include:
- What will make your life more fulfilling?
- What intentional choices can you make to move toward your ideal future?
- How will you be different if you achieve your goal?
- What will it mean for you and your loved ones?
- What will your day-to-day life look like when you are living out your vision?
- How will you feel? Act? Think?
Questions like these help clients see beyond the present, move out of their comfort zone, and see opportunities and potential. A coach can also use a positive approach to visioning with such questions as:
- If you woke up one day and solved your problem, what would be different?
- If you had all the money and time you needed to pursue your dreams, and no problems or obstacles blocked your path, what would you do?
This approach helps people to get a clear picture of what life would be like if they achieved their goal or lived out their vision.
Examining Potential Regrets
Still another approach to visioning examines regrets, allowing people to consider the cost of not living out their “ideal.” Questions using this approach might look like these:
- What would life or the future be like if you fail to reach your goal?
- What price will you pay for NOT taking this step?
- If you choose not to move toward your vision, what will your life look like in one year? Five?
- If you came to the end of your life and never realized this dream, how would you feel?
Questions that help people realize potential regrets, sometimes gives them the internal motivation they need to move ahead.
Sometimes, when clients feel stuck and unable to move forward, a coach invites them to act “as-if” the desired change has already happened, visualizing their lives in this imagined future. As clients imagine the possibilities and reflect on their preferred future, they often see clearly what they need to do to make it happen.
Visioning questions like these can help your clients discern where God is leading them, sort their thoughts, and set clear goals for the future.
As a coach, you play a significant role in your clients’ lives, helping them bridge the gap from where they are now to where God would have them be by asking powerful questions and supporting them as they take specific steps toward their God-ordained future.
How can you help your clients clarify and realize their vision?