How Are We Doing on Our Goals?

As we enter the last month of the year, we are faced with the goals we met and those we didn’t. (If we are achieving 100% of our goals, we are not stretching ourselves or our team.) Now, if we have been stretching, how do we lead through the goals not met?

For a set of overall goals for the year, each person should have four to five to keep focused on. Their daily work should line up behind those goals. To be sure that we are stretching, we should have an expectation that only three or four of those goals would be fully achieved. However, the other one or two should have substantial headway. If these goals are continued from the previous time frame, they still should show some obvious growth.

The point of setting up goals in this way is to cause you and your team to grow in your effectiveness and contribution to the organization. You set goals to stretch out of your comfort zones. You want to be challenged to try new approaches and methods to achieve even greater results. These objectives are important to keep in context when reviewing the accomplishments for the year.

With achieved goals, you want to review with the team member the following:
• What did you do differently or new to achieve this goal?
• What worked well around this goal?
• What would you do different next time?
• How have you grown as a result of pursuing this goal?
The point of this review is to take the time to celebrate the success, as well as the reason for the success. This is essential to create a strong sense of efficacy that can be used to create grit/resilience to setbacks in the future. Adding what to do “next time” reinforces the idea that we are always growing, regardless of whether or not we reach the end goal.

With the goals that have not been fully achieved, but show substantial progress, you want to review the following with the team member:
• What did you do differently or new to achieve this goal?
• What worked well around this goal?
• What would you do different next time?
• How have you grown as a result of pursuing this goal?
Yes, it’s the same list. The after-action review is the same for achieved and not achieved goals, as we can learn from both cases. The key is to create the cause-and-effect between action and outcomes. The idea of “next time” is critical to replace the endless list of “should haves” which do not translate into learning – just self-doubt.

So, use your goal review sessions to Energize Action for next year, while you stretch yourself and your team to higher and higher levels of effectiveness and performance.