This month we thought we would go back to the basis of coaching and look at Goals and Goal Setting, what kind of goals we should set ourselves, whether they should be simple or difficult, and how relevant they need to be.
And part of goal setting is obviously that old chestnut….motivation. We look at a study in Six Motivational Moves below which compares perceptions of motivation by staff and their employers, it throws up some interesting results for the workplace!
Coaching is all about setting clear goals which are realistic and achievable.
One story which crops up frequently in relation to setting goals is the 1953 Yale Goals Study. This purportedly researched Yale’s graduating seniors to find out how many had made specific goals about their future and what happened to them. Apparently twenty years later when these seniors were checked, the researchers found that the 3% who had made clear written goals had made massively more money than that other 97% put together.
The only problem with this story is that it is not proven, and there is question as to whether the study actually existed!
However other studies do show that setting goals is a really good thing. In his studies (1961 and 1968) Edwin Locke researched the goal as the most important part of motivation and performance finding that task performance depends on goal commitment, particularly if there were appropriate rewards, support and encouragement and sufficient ability. Also, setting easy to fulfil goals is less likely to increase task performance. Telling someone to ‘try harder’ or ‘do better’ is not as effective as setting a specific goal e.g. ‘increase your targets this month by 40%’ – the latter more difficult goal, if achieved even partially, gives greater satisfaction and greater task performance.
So….here we are at SMART goals, ones which are…
Bearing in mind Locke’s arguments, you might also want to make your goals a bit more difficult. AND, for goals to work properly for you there has to be the following:
Commitment – you need to be committed to achieving the goal
Challenge – you don’t want to get bored half way through!
Clarity – to ensure you don’t muddle your direction or scope in the pursuit of your goal.
Ability – you need to have the basic ability to get to that goal.
So enjoy your goal setting!
Get your Child Going!
A reminder to sign up for this stimulating workshop around ideas for motivating your children. For all those parents, teachers or others who are involved with children and are looking for ways to help them to do well and enjoy their lives. The 3 hour workshop will look at issues children face today and how we can encourage them on the path to independent thinking.
The workshop takes place on 3rd October at The Wellbeing Clinic, 6 London Road, Marlborough, SN8 1PH. Places are limited so book early by calling 01672 513583 or 01672 861565 or log on to www.thelondonroadwellbeingclinic.co.uk.
Six Motivational Moves
It appears there is a discrepancy between what managers believe their employees want at work and what those employees actually want.
In a fascinating study carried out in 1995 K A Kovach showed that although employees valued ‘interesting work’ as the most important thing about their work, their managers thought that they would value good pay more. The table below showing what employees and managers ranked in order of importance makes interesting reading:
1. Interesting work
2. Full appreciation of work done
3. Feelings of being in on things
4. Job security
5. Good pay
6. Promotion and growth
7. Good working conditions
8. Personal loyalty to employees
9. Tactful discipline
10. Sympathetic help with personal problems.
1. Good wages
2. Job security
3. Promotion and growth
4. Good working conditions
5. Interesting work
6. Personal loyalty to employees
7. Tactful discipline
8. Full appreciation of work done
9. Sympathetic help with personal problems
10. Feeling of being in on things.
Maybe we need to sit back and take a fresh look at what are the underlying motivators in the workplace.
We also need to bear in mind some important points when we are looking to set goals for others. These Six Moves for Managing Motivation –
1. Remember that people change
2. Be aware that people don’t always think the way you do or want the things you want.
3. We need to allow people to develop.
4. Ensuring a sense of achievement is paramount.
5. Building in rewards is equally important.
6. It is essential to set clear and challenging goals.
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