SMARTER goals

When setting goals for your team, for one of your people, or even for yourself, you have almost certainly tested them to make sure they were SMART goals. It is accepted wisdom that goals must be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound. I could not agree more, but I don’t think it is enough.

The SMART criteria are sensible and logical. That is part of the problem. Goal setting is all about change—it is about moving towards a different future. In order to get most people (including yourself) to do something differently, it is not enough to get them to think differently, you must also get them to feel differently about the matter. SMART goals are good at making people think logically about what is required, but we need SMARTER goals to make them feel differently.

The next time you are setting goals, make them SMARTER. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound, Engaging and with a Reason to do it. Don’t assume your people will be persuaded by logic alone or that they will see the benefits of the goals for themselves. Make these benefits explicit. Make your goals SMARTER.

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