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Creating a goal setting climate in your team

Creating a goal setting climate in your team

One of the most important motivational functions of the successful leader is goal setting that involves every member of the team. Without specific goals and carefully written plans for their attainment, the success of your organisation is left to chance. The future of your organisation is far too important to be left to chance.

Unless you, yourself, are goal directed, and unless you create a goal setting climate within all levels of your organisation, most of your other leadership efforts will be in vain. You cannot set another person’s goals, but you can create the climate that encourages and develops goal seeking attitudes among your team members. You can also help team members relate their goals to the overall organisational objectives.

There are four basics of directing the goal setting of others.

  1. Each person must choose his or her own goals. To accomplish any goal, a person must have a genuine commitment to that goal. When personal goals can be realised by accomplishing organisational goals, a high motivational climate will exist.
  2. Make it a challenge. Encourage team members to set goals, to stretch and reach – to do more than has been done in the past. If a goal is to be motivational, some risk is involved. Low goals do not inspire people to be all they can be – to use their full potential. On the other hand, high goals will cause people to stretch, reach, grow and use more of their full potential.
  3. Establish a personal development philosophy. When you expect your team members to grow, develop and use more of their talents and abilities, you can expect and accept failures by some of your people in reaching some of their goals. You grow personally as you help your team members grow. In effect you multiply yourself by building their leadership capacities to equal or surpass your own. If, on the other hand, you have no tolerance for their shortcomings – their failure to reach certain aspects of their goals – the rejection you feel will somehow be communicated to them and they will gradually cease to do any goal setting whatsoever. The results will be the opposite of what you want to accomplish.
  4. Give feedback on performance. Just as you are better able to motivate yourself when you have periodic feedback on your performance, your team members also need to know how well they are doing. Give them frequent feedback, making it as specific as possible. In so doing, you recharge the motivating forces that originally set your team members on course toward achieving their goals. View where feedback is rated in the top influences on workplace performance.

Remember, goal setting is a prelude to action. Goal setting is dynamic. When you and your team members set and achieve goals on a regular basis, you will increase your chances of success and each team member will grow, develop, and use more of his or her talents and abilities.

View LMA’s Principles of Goal Setting for greater insight into goal setting.