Every one of my executive coaching engagements comes to focus repeatedly on the process of goal setting and progress towards those goals. It is at the core of the idea of personal accountability. Many of my clients start out with a rather informal approach to the process. Early on in each engagement, I insist that we formalize the effort and keep detailed notes.
Goal setting is one of the most important tools in within the executive’s management toolbox. Good corporate leaders understand the importance of setting goals for their businesses as well as for themselves. My approach to executive coaching helps clients to define exactly what their goals should be as well as how to pursue them. I start with a series of question. Here are a few examples:
Detailed: Do you know exactly what it is that you want to achieve? Do you want to expand your business or receive a promotion? Be detailed and very specific when you set your goal. You should know exactly what you want, as well as who is involved in the process, and the time line in which to accomplish it.
Quantifiable: Can you measure your goal? You should be able to keep track of your progress, chart your successes and celebrate when you hit your target goals. This will help to keep you focused on the task, and keep you motivated. If you cannot measure your goal, you will not be able to see when you have made positive changes toward achieving it.
Achievable: Set goals that are attainable. Once set, then you can work to develop the skills, tools and ability to achieve them. Expect to work hard for your goals. It is possible to reach even the hardest of goals as long as you work slowly towards it, bringing it closer and closer because you have developed the skills needed to achieve it. If you set goals for yourself that are impossibly far out of reach, you will probably give up long before you get there.
Practical: It may not be easy to achieve the goals that you set for yourself or for your business, but it has to be at least possible due to the time, money and effort that is needed to achieve your goals. Try to focus on a few simple, attainable goals rather than many foolish ideas, as these will just distract you from the real goals that you can actually conquer. In order to achieve your goals you will have to be both willing and able to do the hard work required to be able to reach your target. You will also need to believe in yourself and in your company, because if you do not believe in your abilities then you will surely give up before you get there. As your Executive Coach will be able to keep you on track at all times by checking on your progress and holding you accountable for your actions, or the lack thereof.
Time Line: Setting effective goals includes determining a target date for when you intend to ‘hit your mark’. As your executive coach, I can help you determine a workable period for your goals. Such periods should be set as definitively as possible.
Effective goal need to be very detailed and measurable, as well as achievable and practical. You need to be able to reach them within a certain period. If you think that way, you can easily accomplish them! If you are interested in learning more about my executive or leadership coaching services, send me an e-mail and we will arrange a time to talk.
© Dr. Earl R. Smith II