Thursday, November 5, 2009

Goals That Work

Here is an excerpt from one of my earlier newsletters that focuses on how to help people set goals and make them happen. I hope you find it helpful.

Setting Goals that are SMART

“What are the 3-5 most important results I should expect from you this quarter? What goals would you like to create,” I asked Pete.
“First, I would like to implement a new warehouse in the inventory software,” he replied.
I followed up with, “Okay. What will be the benefits that we will experience as a result?”
Pete responded, “This should really help us to eliminate any more stock outages.”

The above dialogue represents a very common experience I had in talking with my direct reports. Here is another example:

Leader: “What goal would you most like to work on in the next 60-90 days?”
Associate: “I would like to work on improving my leadership skills.”

Result vs. Task
The first example highlights how people tend to set a “goal” that doesn’t represent the end-result they want. It is a task they want to execute to achieve the result. Pete’s desired result was to eliminate stock outages. But, when I asked him what his goal was he focused first on the task. The second example also lacks a clearly defined end-result.

As leaders we need to help them dig deeper and discover what they really want as the final outcome. The individual tasks associated should be developed later.

SMART vs. Vague
Both examples demonstrate the other major problem people encounter. Their ideas lack elements that will actually help them to accomplish the goal. So, what are the elements that would help a person get results? Read more...

Seize the day!

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