GOAL = TARGET? Many people perceive that a goal is a target to aim for, something which they do not already have but when achieved will enhance their life in some way. It may be something they want to have (a new apartment, a vacation), be (a more skilful leader, a healthier person) or do (change career, learn a new skill). We all have goals that we aspire to do and be better, whether it’s in our personal lives or professional domains. LET THEM GO Goals give us a sense of direction, purpose, and hope for achieving desired results. All goals share a common characteristic: we believe that we, and others around us, will be better off once we’ve reached this new state. But not all goals are created equal. An effective goal should ideally be in positive form and include the outcome of the goal. We all have set goals in our lives only to totally let them go in a short period of time. We get stuck, discover ourselves back to square one and feel defeated. As a professional coach, I believe a well-formed goal can inspire the necessary action in the “moment-of-choice” that can support you to bounce back and beyond. We should never assume but help the counterparts understand more about the context as there may be something hidden under the ‘iceberg’.
THREE TIPS OF EFFECTIVE GOAL SETTING 1) Stated in the positive Our brain is compelled to think about what we focus on. If someone has a goal of “not missing their target”, their mind will focus on missing their target -this is not a well-formed goal. 2) Within your control “I want my direct reports to support me better” -this is not a well-formed goal, as this goal focus on the desired outcome. “I want to find ways to better coach, lead and support my team so that they are able to undertake more responsibility” – this goal focuses on what you can do to make the result probable. This is a well-formed goal as it is in your control. 3) Impact on your life We often want to set goals for things without even considering how this will impact on our life ( e.g. families, health & career progression.) Sometimes you might find a ‘goal within a goal’ wherein as a coach, one needs to nurture. To sum up, when someone has a well-formed goal, they are building valuable psychological resources for their future disposal.
About the author: Craig Ng - Programme Partner Craig is a professional facilitator and also a seasoned executive coach (ICF -ACC) with over 15-year extensive leadership experience in various corporate environments in the Asia Pacific.