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How Do Great Leaders Set Goals

by Livvie Jane (from Nexlec)

Read Time: 2mins

Quite often, a significant difference between genuinely effective leaders and the rest of the pack is that they are not willing to settle for less than their best.  It  is challenging to define because there are so many  variables involved, as well as  a large  degree of subjectivity.  But one thing is for  certain  – they set lofty  yet realistic  goals for themselves and their team. 

Perhaps  you too  want to devote some time to thinking about setting 2018’s goals and learn how to use them to  increase  performance and improve engagement. 

Here are six tips that could help you do that. 

1. Understand the psychology behind  setting milestones 

Most people  start  the task  of setting goals because they are  instructed to do so, either by their boss  or  by the culture surrounding them. They  do not take time to think  about what that means psychologically.

In contrast, great leaders carefully analyse the psychological aspects that play a role in actions and results. For example, they  understand  why certain phrases during a  project have a particular effect on the project members of the reason why emails that are personalised resonate well with prospects.

By  knowing the importance of goals, it can help you establish more effective milestones. Goal-setting  changes the chemistry of our brains, and studies have shown that that  setting incremental goals can improve  motivation and boost  your  achievement levels by approximately 30 percent.   As  the very  act  of creating goals has such  a strong  effect  on  our  brains’ activities, it’s crucial to take on the process  earnestly  and stick to your decisions. 

2. Identifying strengths and weaknesses

Great leaders understand the different strengths and weaknesses of their team members and develop a roadmap to achieve team goals.  For example, your team  is given  the task of improving customer relationships. If you understand that  it is very similar to managing personal relationships; you  can identify the team members who are  strong  in this area in order to enhance the goal-achieving strategy.  

Achieving most team goals are no different. It boils down to identifying the talents of each individual and utilising them accordingly in their areas of expertise allowing the team as a whole to achieve goals with ease.

3. Encourage  honest  feedback

Even  if  you put a lot of thought and effort into your  objectives, they’re never going to be perfect. And  even  when you get them mostly right, they will still need to  change from time to time.  That’s why you need to have frequent feedback  meetings with other team members who have  a stake in the goal-setting process.  The purpose of these meetings is to  encourage  productive  criticism, as well as  to  celebrate achievements.   Your  team  will  most  likely have many thoughts about the goals  that  they're expected to meet. 

In the meantime,  to monitor  your own goals, schedule  a feedback session with a mentor or  senior  colleague  who  can help you take stock of the effectiveness of your own personal effort. 

4. Focus on what you and your team can control

When we  constantly  hear  about creating goals that are “actionable”,  we usually  think of  the concept in abstract terms.   Instead, leaders should  impart  a  method  that delivers “action-oriented” goals, and  let the rest follow from there.  No matter how hard you try, you can’t control  external factors such as the market or the economy. What you can control are the actions that typically encourage  higher productivity.  This  will help you and your team internalise the notion that you are directly responsible for achieving your desired results. 

5. Give your team mates some autonomy with their goal-tracking

We all  recognise  that taking the  time to create goals is  impractical  unless you  can invest  the  energy  in  tracking the progress of those goals.  For some  leaders,  this means being in control of tracking  software  or linking up with team members  to discuss  results at set intervals. Many times, team  members  aren’t even aware of their progress until they are  being told  about their  results.  Instead, try giving your  team members  the responsibility of tracking their own goals and achievements,  and sending the results to you at specified times. This will help them feel more invested in the process, and high-achievers  will be  incentivised to perform and share their progress. 

6. Recognizing failure is part of the process 

An  unavoidable  part  of maintaining  an effective  system for creating goals is knowing that at the end of the day, not every goal can  be met.  Failure is an  important  part of life,  both personally and professionally, but it’s  essential  not to  let  these setbacks  ruin  your strategy.   Instead, you should  use them as  a chance  to  learn how you can adjust your game plan in the future.  Were your goals too ambitious? Is there some  feature of your time-management process that could  be  altered  so that you  can increase your performance?  Take  some  time  to implement  a  precise  plan-of-action for the next time you and your team fall short of a goal, including evaluation, analysis  and  future  steps. 

Article Information

  • Authors: Livvie Jane
  • From: Nexlec
  • Category: Working Professional

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