Setting SMART Goals Whilst Coaching
Writing goals can be a daunting task if done without a particular format or process. After you have your pre-coaching meeting with your employee, you are ready to meet again with your employee and write a clear goal, starting the GROW process. Having a clear format and goal development process will enable you to build an effective goal. SMART is the technique you want to use when building the goal with your employee. It outlines your goal in an easy and clear format that your employee will find useful.
SMART stands for the following goal characteristics:
- Specific: What needs to be done? The goal must be clear. It cannot be a general statement like be better at sales or be more organised. Use action verbs like increase sales or use a calendar. Next, we need to put some measurement in place.
- Measurable: Place some form of measurement that is easily verifiable to the goal. For example, (continuing with the last example) increase sales by 3% or use a calendar two times a week. When you have a number incorporated into the goal, it makes it easier to check progress and hold your employee accountable.
- Attainable: Make sure the goal is not too much at one time to complete. Setting huge goals will lead to failure because the employee will see it as impossible. In addition, assess your employee’s attitude. Use the information gained from your questions to help make this goal relevant. Irrelevant goals are not done. Make the goal manageable yet challenging.
- Realistic: Take into consideration any learning or mentoring that has to take place or habits that have to be broken first before you set your employee’s goal. If you are asking your employee to do something better, make sure they have the basics down first. Assess them, determine any gaps, and set your goals according to their skills and abilities.
- Timely: Always set a time limit or timeframe. Do not allow your employee’s goal to wander aimlessly. Set follow up meetings and keep them. Your employee looks forward to these meetings especially when they are moving towards the goal. Do not set too much time between intervals. This may send the message to your employee that they have time to make the adjustment. You want to set short specific timeframes.
SMART goals are easy to do but require a commitment on your part to use it consistently. Now that you have an idea of how to develop your goal, we are going to see why understanding the reality is essential to the coaching process.