ICF Australasia Virtual PD

Is It Possible To Coach Without Goals

A Conversation on the Deeper Purpose of Coaching with David Drake, PhD

Event Information

Is It Possible to Coach Without Goals?
A Conversation on the Deeper Purpose of Coaching with David Drake, PhD

In this session I will make the case that, not only is it possible to coach without goals, but that it may actually be preferable for clients in many instances.

The session will address the pros and cons of goals and their purpose for clients and coaches as well as introduce narrative coaching as a more integrative approach to enable clients to achieve what matters most to them.

There will be opportunities for Q&A at the end of each section to support dialogue and reflecting about what this perspective offers coaches in terms of increasing their mastery of their craft.

A client case will be used to illustrate some of the key points, and there will be a brief demonstration for the audience to experience a narrative coaching approach.

Why your topic is important & relevant to coaches, what client problem it addresses & how your concept/tool/approach/methodology might help them professionally/personally.
  • What is the purpose of coaching? (three dimensions: time, space, direction)
  • What is a goal?
  • What is the purpose of goals for clients and coaches?
  • What are the limitations of goals?
  • How does narrative coaching address these limitations?
  • How does this help coaches and clients?
  • Case story: Act 1-2 (setting the scene and using what is emerging)
What core principles are key to your approach/methodology.
  • What framework does narrative coaching use to support client outcomes?
  • What are the four of the core principles of narrative coaching?
  1. Everything you need is right in front of you.
  2. The resolution is already present.
  3. Change is available in any moment.
  4. People need new experiences not more explanations
  • How do these principles support better client outcomes?
  • Case story: Act 3-4 (embodying and enacting what is now clear)
How to apply your tool/approach/methodology in a coaching context.
  • Core tool 1: Using structures for success to enable clients to sustain change
  • Core tool 2: Getting to the crux of issues and thresholds of choice
  • Core tool 3: Creating experiences and experiments to support change in real time
  • Brief demo: (working with someone who has a goal they are not achieving)

3 Key Learning Takeaways

  1. Goal theory and goals themselves are useful sometimes for clients and coaches, but not as often or in ways that we think.
  2. Clients need a more integrative approach to developing themselves as well as formulating new stories, making new choices and achieving new outcomes.
  3. Narrative coaching offers tools you can use to help clients achieve more in less time — and without goals.


Event Date:28 Jun 2019

RSVP by:27 Jun 2019

Event Organiser

Organiser: Brenda Brown

Phone: +61 (2) 8006 5481


Units Details

Core Competencies

1.25 Continuing Coach Education Units applies to this event.


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