It can be very time consuming agreeing and setting goals for your team, especially with a large team at appraisal time.
Understandably goal setting and agreement can feel like an arduous task. Yet, being able to set effective goals that work for each individual might not be as difficult as you think. The trick is to understand the mix of different type goals which ladder up to the “reason why?” each of your team members comes to work.
Interestingly your influence here will not only pay dividends for your organisation, it will underpin motivation for your team, and importantly develop another crucial skill, essential in building you into a strong and effective leader.
You can listen to our Podcast on Goals That Work. Or review some easy to implement Essential Leadership tips below to drive individual motivation and performance. If you want to develop your goal setting skills further try the Coaching Approach where we give you some typical coaching questions you can use and adapt to your particular situation.
1. Understand the principles of goal setting. Locke & Latham’s (1990) 5 principles of goal setting are: Clarity, Challenge, Commitment, Feedback and Complexity. Effective goals should be structured for maximum effect by addressing each of these elements.
2. Get familiar with the different types of goals and when to use them. With an understanding of what makes each team member tick, you can use Process, Outcome, Performance & Mastery goals to appeal, motivate and help your people achieve. We explain what these are in our podcast #17.
3. Watch out for the dark-side of goal setting. Beware of setting competing goals that result in conflict and goal neglect. It’s all too easy to create unintended consequences by setting goals that lead to unethical behaviour and poor team/organisational performance.
Helping your people set and agree goals will be the very best start you can give them; heaps and heaps of research has shown that people who are goal focussed and actively use goal setting are more successful in life.
How well you do you understand each of your people’s values? What interests them, what is fundamentally important to them? What is their reason why?
When it comes to defining the actual goal(s) do they contain all five elements required to give your team member the very best chance of achieving?
Ask: Can you define your own goal(s) in line with your values, the requirements of the role aligned with departmental/organisational needs? Give them time to explain their reasoning and their intentions behind their choices
Consider are there other elements that neither of us have considered that we can incorporate into goals that generate increased motivation?
Ask: What can you do as the leader to support your team member to achieve their goals?
Agree how you will tackle monitoring of the goals; frequency, performance, change/adaptation
Reflection: finally, what can we both learn from setting and agreeing goals in this way?
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