When are you going to get smart?
Now I know some of you reading this are old enough to remember the old TV sitcom that has the same name as the title of this post. Every week back in the late 1960s, Don Adams, the actor who played Maxwell Smart, and Barbara Feldon, his beautiful sidekick who went by the code name Agent 99, would entertain us with their hair-brained spy antics.
But I am not talking about TV shows here. I am talking about how you coach staff when it comes to goal setting. As a manager, supervisor or business owner, one of the best things you can do for the people who report to you is to teach them the value of goal setting.
Below are some statistics that might surprise you.
According to Dave Kohl, professor emeritus at Virginia Tech:
- People who regularly write down their goals earn nine times as much over their lifetimes as people who don’t.
- 80% of Americans say they don’t have goals.
- 16% do have goals but don’t write them down.
- Less than 4% write down their goals and fewer than 1% review them on an ongoing basis.
Also, psychologically, writing your goals down makes a person more accountable, and that’s a good thing to be.
- Schedule a retreat for your top management team. Give them the opportunity to get away for a day to where it’s quiet, so they can think about how the new year should look and feel. This doesn’t have to be an expensive elaborate excursion. Sometimes renting a local hotel conference room for the day or encouraging staff to go to their local library to work on their goals for the day is all they will need to begin to focus on their departments and vision for the upcoming year.
- Use the SMART Model for goal setting. Each letter of the word SMART stands for a characteristic that a goal should have. Goals should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound.
- Goals should be written down and shared to make them powerful.
- Goals need to be reviewed on a regular basis. This affords the goal-setter the opportunity to make course corrections and adjustments in their goals throughout the year to stay on track. Schedule quarterly status report meetings with your team to be sure that everyone has what they need to reach their goals by yearend.
- And finally, celebrate reaching your goals. All too often we don’t stop to enjoy our success. We’re busy moving on to the next challenge or conquest. Taking the time to stop and recognize your success is an important part of the process and one that shouldn’t be overlooked.
What are some of the biggest stumbling blocks to goal setting that you’ve encountered?
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