Sukcess stories

01.03.2017

Make it SMARTER

Many people begin their career with high hopes of making it successful. Unfortunately, most of them don't have any tangible goals on their way to success. That also set people apart with their behaviour. In everything what we can do we're undertaking two attitudes: proactive or reactive. Our success, goals, achievements depends only from us.

Proactive Work - Makes things happen

Reactive Work - Gets things done

Those who gain recognition and promotion in organisations are usually those who are proactive. They are use their initiative to make things happen. In that approach, you need to be able to set goals that will inspire you and your team. Setting goals that motivate people is not easy and requires effort. Unfortunately, many people confuse goal setting with wishful thinking.

Effective setting goals

If a goal should be motivated it must have an objective that is clear and well specified in what should be achieved. It must identify exactly what needs to be done and in what timeframe. Is must also defining a clear outcome that is measurable and can be assessed. As well as setting goals for your team as a whole, you will usually to be expected to set targets for each team member. If you set goals that are unambiguous and measurable then most people will rise to challenge or at least strive to achieve them to the best of their ability. On the other hand, nothing destroys morale faster than not knowing what you're expected to achieve or how your effort will be measured. Goal setting can aid individual performance in four ways:

  • Goals allow team members to be focused and committed to achieving the end result.
  • Goals serve as an energiser. They stimulate people to an extra effort to achieve them.
  • Goals encourage team members to use their initiative to make effective decisions with long-term impacts. This often results in more efficient and successful working practices that are driven from the bottom up rather than by management.
  • Goals motivate employees to organise their time efficiently to maximise productivity.

One of the most effective way to achieve your objectives is to set goals with SMART methodology. SMART goal setting brings structure and tractability. SMART goal setting creates verifiable trajectories towards a certain objective, with clear milestones and an estimation of the goal's attainability but SMARTER goals are taking two steps further. It's forcing you to evaluate and readjust your approach.  This method of goal setting also creates transparency throughout the company. It clarifies the way goals came into existence, and the criteria their realisation will conform to. Read carefully each step and start to make your goals SMARTER.

SPECIFIC

What exactly do you want to achieve? The more specific your description, the bigger the chance you'll get exactly that. It clarifies the difference between 'I want to be a millionaire' and 'I want to make 50.000$ a month for the next ten years by creating a new software product'.

Questions you may ask yourself when setting your goals and objectives are:

  • What exactly do I want to achieve?
  • Where?
  • How?
  • With whom?
  • What are the conditions and limitations?
  • Why exactly do I want to reach this goal? What are possible alternative ways of achieving the same?

MEASURABLE

Measurable goals mean that you identify exactly what it is you will see, hear and feel when you reach your goal. It means breaking your goal down into measurable elements. You'll need concrete evidence. Being happier is not evidence. Measurable goals can go a long way in refining what exactly it is that you want. Defining the physical manifestations of your goal or objective makes it clearer, and easier to reach.

ATTAINABLE / ACHIEVABLE

That means investigating whether the goal really is acceptable to you. You weigh the effort, time and other costs your goal will take against the profits and the other obligations and priorities you have in life.

If you don't have the time, money or talent to reach a certain goal you'll certainly fail and be miserable. That doesn't mean that you can't take something that seems impossible and make it happen by planning smartly and going for it! There's nothing wrong with shooting for the stars; if you aim to make your department twice as efficient this year as it was last year with no extra labour involved, how bad is it when you only reach 1,8 times? Not too bad...

RELEVANT

Do you actually want to run a multinational, be famous, have three children and a busy job? You decide for yourself whether you have the personality for it, or your team has the bandwidth. If you're lacking certain skills, you can plan trainings. If you lack certain resources, you can look for ways of getting them. The main questions, why do you want to reach this goal? What is the objective behind the goal, and will this goal really achieve that?

TIMELY

Time is money! Make a tentative plan of everything you do. Everybody knows that deadlines are what makes most people switch to action. So, install deadlines for yourself and your team, and go after them. Keep the timeline realistic and flexible, that way you can keep morale high. Being too stringent on the timely aspect of your goal setting can have the perverse effect of making the learning path of achieving your goals and objectives into a hellish race against time - which is most likely not how you want to achieve anything.

EVALUATE

The sixth step in setting goals using the SMARTER. method is to ensure that your goals are evaluated. By evaluating your goals every single day, you'll be much more likely to achieve them. Why is that? Well, long-term goals (and also goals that are 3 months or 6 months out), can easily be ignored if they aren't evaluated every single day.

Make sure that you setup a system for evaluating your goals and you make the evaluation of your goals habitual. Don't ignore this all-important step. Your mind has a very clever way of allowing you to ignore your goals by pushing you into emotion-numbing behaviours when those goals aren't closely evaluated.

READJUST

The final step in setting goals with the SMARTER method is to re-adjust your approach. If, for example, you find yourself pursuing a goal but continuously hitting a brick wall, readjust your method and techniques. Readjust doesn't mean that you have to throw your goals out and start all over. What it means is that you have to try different approaches until you find yourself getting closer and closer to your goals. That's why constant evaluation on a daily basis is so important. If you don't evaluate you can't measure your progress.

Another thing that's very important when setting SMART goals, is formulating it positively. Remember that what you focus on, increases. So, when you focus on NOT doing something, all you think about is that thing. And it will increase. Instead of don't 'stop procrastinating' make your goal as 'achieve a daily discipline'.

Training programs can support you and your team in setting SMARTER goals, turning them into measurable objectives and following up on their completion. That means helping, steering and cheering on the solution of your personal and professional challenges to help you develop as fast as the world around you.

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