Using goal setting the SMART way

Over the last two weeks, we’ve gone over the importance of recording your goals. Now that you recognize and see how the recording of goals matter in order to help you achieve the outcomes you foresee, we’re going to move onto goal setting using the SMART model. I am sure many of you are familiar with this model, but go ahead and apply it to your communication goals regardless (if that’s your goal!)

SMART is measured five ways:

Specific

The first term stresses the need for a specific goal over and against a more general one. This means the goal is clear and unambiguous; without vagaries and platitudes. To make goals specific, they must tell a team exactly what is expected, why it’s important, who’s involved, where it’s going to happen and which attributes are important.

A specific goal will usually answer the five “W” questions:

  • What: What do I want my audience to do?
  • Why: Specific reasons, purpose or benefits of accomplishing the goal.
  • Who: Who is involved?
  • Where: Identify a location.
  • Which: Identify requirements and constraints.

Measurable

The second term stresses the need for concrete criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment of the goal. The thought behind this is that if a goal is not measurable, it is not possible to know whether a team is making progress toward successful completion. Measuring progress is supposed to help a team stay on track, reach its target dates, and experience the exhilaration of achievement that spurs it on to continued effort required to reach the ultimate goal.

A measurable goal will usually answer questions such as:

  • How much?
  • How many?
  • How will I know when it is accomplished?

Attainable

The third term stresses the importance of goals that are realistic and attainable. While an attainable goal may stretch a team in order to achieve it, the goal is not extreme. That is, the goals are neither out of reach nor below standard performance, as these may be considered meaningless. When you identify goals that are most important to you, you begin to figure out ways you can make them come true. You develop the attitudes, abilities, skills, and financial capacity to reach them. The theory states that an attainable goal may cause goal-setters to identify previously overlooked opportunities to bring themselves closer to the achievement of their goals.

An attainable goal will usually answer the question:

  • How: How can the goal be accomplished?

 Relevant

The fourth term stresses the importance of choosing goals that matter. A Bank Manager’s goal to “make 50 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches by 2 p.m.” may be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, and Time-Bound, but lacks Relevance. Many times you will need support to accomplish a goal; resources, a champion voice, someone to knock down obstacles. Goals that are relevant to your boss, your team, your organization will receive that needed support.

Relevant goals (when met) drive the team, department, and organization forward. A goal that supports or is in alignment with other goals would be considered a relevant goal.

A relevant goal can answer yes to these questions:

  • Does this seem worthwhile?
  • Is this the right time?
  • Does this match my/business or personal needs?

Time-bound

The fifth term stresses the importance of grounding goals within a time frame, giving them a target date. A commitment to a deadline helps a team focus their efforts on completion of the goal on or before the due date. This part of the S.M.A.R.T. goal criteria is intended to prevent goals from being overtaken by the day-to-day crises that invariably arise in an organization. A time-bound goal is intended to establish a sense of urgency.

A time-bound goal will usually answer the question:

  • When?
  • What can I do 6 months from now?
  • What can I do 6 weeks from now?
  • What can I do today?

So try the SMART method today! And let us know how you get on: info@releaseyourvoice.com.

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About releaseyourvoices

Release Your Voice with Pamela Hart: Public Speaking training based in Vancouver BC. We offer training seminars, oral presentation skills, corporate communication, private lessons or group training
This entry was posted in Challenges, Motivation, Observations. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Using goal setting the SMART way

  1. I totally agree, Pamela. The SMART structure for goalsetting is powerful, and the foundation for succeeding as a speaker, or in any other venture. Let me add also that being accountable to someone for achieving a daily goal can be a real help. SMART doesn’t include that factor, but the gentle pressure you feel, knowing that you can either claim success at the end of the day — or have to fess up to a failure can make all the difference for days when you’re “not in the mood.”

    I have more on this for public speakers on my HyperAchiever.com site, but this secret alone makes goalsetting so much easier. Just get someone to check up you at the end of the day and hold you accountable for doing your speaking assignment. Works like a charm.

    Warm regards,

    Arlen

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