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Jason (not his real name) believed in setting unrealistic high targets for his team. Because his team knew this about Jason, they set their own realistic targets that they worked towards – but they never shared these realistic targets with Jason. His leadership was undermined by his team because they knew they’d never reach his targets.
Is Jason unique? Unfortunately not. Many leaders I coach set unrealistically high targets because they think the team will be motivated to work harder. This doesn’t work! Teams are actually demotivated by “shoot for the stars” targets.
How do you set targets that are motivational and still realistic?
Involve the team. Their participation creates ownership of the targets. You don’t have to work as hard as a leader when the team is involved in setting the goals.
Take a look at the entire system. What is happening in the organization & the external environment that you should be aware of? What do your stakeholders expect? What is your part of the organization’s goals?
Set initial targets. Gather data. What has been accomplished in the past? Review the data and set initial targets. It is easier to lower targets than to raise them, so while not “shooting for the stars,” still create stretch targets for the team.
Create a plan. What are the steps and projects to meet the targets? What are the milestones? How will you address the issues & problems you anticipate? How do you build upon the team’s strengths? How do you mitigate the weaknesses?
Implement & monitor the plan. No plan is perfect. Observe what is happening and make necessary changes during the implementation.
Target setting is part art and part science. You will make mistakes, but by using a process to set and monitor achievement of targets, you are more likely to reach your goals.
Read more about what you can do during the Implement & monitor the plan step by clicking on: How to Help Your Teams Meet Targets
Contact me Valerie.MacLeod@HainesCentre.com
Photo by Valerie MacLeod
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