4 problem areas when setting goals
Tuesday, October 13, 2015
Goal setting is the foundation of good planning. Goals help an organization come to terms with what is relevant. But too often, once goals are identified, the process stops before they are implemented.
To solve that problem, researchers Peter M. Gollwitzer and Gabriele Oettingen suggest, "People need to prepare in advance, so that their chances to overcome difficulties of goal implementation are kept high."
Golliwitzer and Oettingen indicate there are four problem areas that need to be addressed in order for goals to be achieved:
1. Getting started
This is probably the most difficult of all the problem areas. It is human nature to procrastinate as long as possible. Defining why these goals are needed will help in establishing a level of commitment.
Getting buy-in from all parties is necessary in order for the goals to be initiated. Make sure you get input and discuss how each team and individual in the organization can make a real contribution to those goals.
Oftentimes, a leader will make goals mandatory and not explain why they are necessary. This makes it almost impossible for the goals to even get off the ground. Resentment can foster, and individuals can become complacent and will find anyway possible to thwart the achievement of these goals.
Therefore, it the leader's responsibility in making sure those individuals are given the opportunity to help in the establishment of those goals in order for them to work.
2. Staying on track
Once goals are established, how do you keep the momentum going? The best approach is cooperation between individuals and departments within an organization.
It is challenging enough to get departments to do their day-to-day functions, so how does a leader get employees to focus on new goals? Gollwitzer and Oettingen emphasize that "people need to be committed to the intent of the goal."
It is not enough just to have goals, what does each employee get out of them? You need to have strong intention for getting the goal accomplished. Leaders need to lead by example and show the desire for others to follow through. If a leader has a less-than-firm intention, this will derail any execution of those goals.
Leaders have to have confidence that the goals are worth it. It is important that there is no doubt cast, and that the intent is the driver for these goals to be realized.
3. Calling a halt
An organization can become so committed to getting these goals implemented, Gollwitzer and Oettingen cite, "Expectations of success are high, and they refrain from such commitments when expectations of success are low."
There must be proper preparation mentally, so that the organization will want to pursue these goals. Goals in themselves are the drivers of an organization. Leaders should make sure all parties understand why the goals are necessary.
If the goals are too elaborate and not ground in reality, then this is the time to call a halt. Leaders should take the proper time to re-evaluate the who, what, where and why these goals are important.
Taking this time will allow for a more meaningful acceptance. Taking a systematic approach will ultimately make easier for those goals to be implemented.
4. Not overextending oneself
Leaders should emphasize collaboration within the organization. Goals help an organization in its planning and functionality. They should not be the only aspiration of an organization or its leadership.
People are what makes or breaks an organization. If just only the leadership plans what is its purpose, then employees can become hawkish, and will not want to participate and could ultimately end up leaving the company.
Keeping the emphasis on cooperation and involvement will go a long way in making sure that there will achievement in the end. As Robert F. Kennedy stated, "Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly."
Finally, goals are both failures and achievers for an organization. Leaders should make sure they come ready to do the planning. Proper implementation will make all the difference in the world.
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