Manager as Coach (part 4 of 5)
In the previous 3 posts, we looked at certain skills required to be a “Coaching Manager”:
Good listening skills – Part 1
Good questioning skills – Part 2
Ability to provide effective feedback – Part 3
Ability to set goals – Part 4 – this post
Ability to create action plans and see them through – Part 5
Lets simply expand on the above to include the coaching skills that will permeate through a coaching style Manager:
Part 4 – Goal Setting:
“If a man knows not what harbor he seeks, any wind is the right wind” – Seneca
Firstly, what is the difference between a goal and a wish?
General Wish: “I would love my team to be able to communicate better”
General goal: “I will improve team communication.”
Specific goal: “I will improve team communication by spending time listening to each member’s concerns. I’ll commit myself to individual meetings over the next month, and then bring the team together for a brainstorming session on how we can improve communication and morale.”
Watch your language! If you are not specific with your wording, then you are giving yourself permission not to succeed. Other goal killers are words like “I’ll try”, “I’d love to, but…”, “I wish I could do that, but…” I am sure you know where I am coming from with this.
Goal Setting is a process, and a skill that can be learned and practiced (so no excuses, right?)
Firstly, your goal needs to be FIT (seriously!)
Focused – know the advantages and disadvantages of achieving the goal
Inclusive – ensure the goal is within your control
Testing – the goal must be challenging, otherwise it’s just a task
Next, you need a SMART goal, right?
(If you want detailed info on the SMART model – please see my extended blog post here)
So now your goal is SMART, where do you go from here?
- A goal gets you from HERE to THERE. Imagine the THERE – picture it, the outcome.
- Decide what you want to BE, DO, and HAVE with relation to your goal. Some people have a stigma around being great, doing great things or having great things. Let’s talk about money. Some may perceive money as evil – the ruination of many a nation. Money itself is not a bad thing. It’s what you do with money that makes it good or bad. So if your motivation is to earn more or get more money, that is a good thing, and totally up to you what you do with it and how you treat or mistreat it.
- Ask yourself WHY you set that particular goal.
– Ask what you will gain from achieving this goal – make an extensive list (when you think you are finished, list 5 more)
– Ask what you will lose by not achieving this goal – again make a list (stretch your imagination again on this one)
- Internal motivation is the only lasting motivation – as well as meeting organisational needs, ensure this goal is in tune with your reality, your vision.
- TEST your goal – does it stretch you – will you or your team grow as a consequence. Your answer here should be YES, if not refer back to point 4. Read it aloud to yourself and observe your emotions and reactions when you read it. If it excites you, then YES, it is on track with you.
- Stick to your goal and don’t change the plan, unless altering a portion of the goal will improve the outcome. Changing can be a consequence of distraction or procrastination, both detrimental to achieving goals.
- Give your goal time to grow, be patient with it, become it’s advocator. Watch out for shortcuts and shortfalls.
- Plan your actions – probably the toughest part of goal setting – is acting. ACT now!!! Don’t bother waiting for the perfect time or conditions, because they will never arrive. Waiting for the perfect time is the perfect excuse for doing nothing!
How is your goal setting?
Whether personal or professional, do you have a sure way of ensuring you achieve your goals?