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Creating Common Goals

Creating Common Goals

Author: Kelly Nordstrom

This lesson introduces team goals and how to create them.

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Introduction to Psychology

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Thank you for joining me for this tutorial on creating common goals. This lesson, as you can see here, introduces team goals and the process of creating team goals. Let's get started.

What are our objectives for this lesson? Why is a goal important? Are there types of goals? Yes, there are types of goals. We'll be talking about that in a little bit.

What are SMART goals? This is an acronym that's going to help keep you on track. How are goals created? And what is a team charter?

OK, let's talk about the importance of goals. You can see here, two sides of the fence. We have clear communication and unclear communication.

Here's what happens when we have clear communication. Everyone is in alignment with the team. They're all moving as a focused unit with teamwork.

Each are committed with purpose to their goal. They're accountable. They trust each other. And they're all moving forward to that same place.

So what happens when the communication is unclear? Well, we start to see people scattered a little bit. The effectiveness is decreased. The commitment to the team has decreased.

You may find a little bit of conflict between the team members, because they're just unclear as to what the roles and responsibilities are between each other. They may draw different conclusions as to what the most desirable outcome may be. They're not sure where their priorities lie. People get a little off track. We're seeing decreased effectiveness and decreased commitment to the team. And as you can see, the goal tends to get lost with unclear communication.

Let's move on to types of goals. So goals may be short-term, medium-term, or long-term. But it's always consistent. They're always building up to each other.

A short-term goal always supports a medium-term goal. A medium-term goal always supports a long-term goal. And long-term goals always support even longer-term goals, or maybe even permanent goals. But they're always supporting that one level up.

Goals exist at every level of the organization. We have personal goals, role goals, team goals, department goals, and organizational goals. So you can see, just like our timeline of goals, the individual goals, whether it's personal, their role, team, department, or organization, those build on each other as well.

It's all a balance between the strengths of the individuals, their responsibilities, and their roles to achieve that goal, that long-term goal, or the medium-term goal, or the short-term goal.

Once goals are defined, and established, and communicated, hopefully clearly communicated, assignments for the responsibilities are communicated. This is where the goals become interdependent.

It's important to note the difference between role and personal goals. Personal goals are all the goals for a person. And it should include goals that lead to personal and professional development.

Role goals are very narrow. And they're very specific. However, they all impact each other. The team needs to look at the personal goals and role goals.

What are the strengths of the individuals on the team? Who can we bring up for the specific goal that we have? Role responsibilities can influence the team goals.

Someone higher up, perhaps, in the organization or in the department may say, listen, your team comprises a great amount of strength that we need for this particular goal. Therefore, role goals can influence or define higher level long-term goals. Team goals can influence personal goals.

They're all interdependent. It's all about balance. They influence and impact each other.

Now this can also be where performance evaluations come into play. There may be more focus placed on their role goals. And there may be an expectation of working together with other people on the team as well, which also develops a team goal.

It's important to note that expectations should be set before the evaluation. This should not come as a surprise about role goals, or personal goals, or even team goals. Again, the clear communication comes into play even when we're discussing employee evaluations.

So I want to introduce you to another type of goal. These are the characteristics we want to include in our goals whenever possible. So SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic, Time-phased. These are the characteristics we'd like to see in our goals.

Without specific communication it becomes unclear. And as we saw earlier in this tutorial, team members may draw different conclusions when things are unclear. They're not very sure about the priorities. And it may lead to conflict.

If we don't have measurable results, there's a lack of accountability. Action-oriented, we have to put forth the effort and the action that's required of the goal. If we don't, there's a lack of progress. We tend to have people kind of floating, wondering what do I need to be doing? Again, that also ties back to clear communication.

Realistic, we want to set realistic goals. No one likes being set up to fail. If they're not realistic, the team members start to feel overwhelmed and a little lost.

Time-phased, if we do not set up deadlines along the way, we risk missing targets and ultimately that final deadline or that final goal that was set in place.

So let's take a look at a couple of examples. You can see here that I have my SMART goal written out. It's very specific. I will attend two local workshops on how to create custom widgets by November 10th.

Now the measurable aspect of this specific statement is two workshops. My action oriented statement is, "I will attend." Not I should attend, or I need to attend, or I would like to attend. I will attend.

Is it realistic? Yeah, it's right there in my specific statement. I'm going to the local workshops. And of course, time phased, this will be done by November 10th.

Let's take a look at another example. Here is my statement, I need to get healthy in time for the high school reunion on August 15th.

There is no measurable results. How will I know if this is successful? This missing element would impact the team should this not have been a personal goal. The team would not know whether it was successful or not.

And look at that action-oriented statement. I need to get healthy. Realistic, how can we evaluate if this is realistic when there are missing pieces in the specific statement? I do, however, have the time phased. It is due August 15th.

How can we rewrite this to make it a SMART goal? Well here we go. I will lose eight pounds by August 15th by attending yoga class three times a week at my local gym. There we go.

Measurable, eight pounds, three times a week, I will know if I'm not meeting these deadlines. It will be very clear if I'm not meeting these measurable results.

Action-oriented, I will lose. I will is the action-oriented statement. It's realistic. It's at my local gym. And time-phased, of course, is August 15th.

So I want to talk about the team charter. So the team charter is a document that lists out certain aspects of a team. It starts off with the team purpose. This is an explanation of why the team is coming together.

Are they just a problem solving team? Is there an endpoint? What are the goals?

In this document there will be a list of team goals, and objectives, and any deliverables that need to be produced, as well as any metrics. We want to make sure, again, that everything is measurable.

So roles and responsibility, what are the role goals for each? Do we need management? Who has authority to sign off on what approvals? How will the various roles come together? And are there any constraints for any roles?

The resources, how? This includes the time, money, the materials, everything that we need to get the job done.

And processes, this is an explanation of how we're going to communicate. What are the operations of this team? And what processes will we put in place as we track the process?

It is important that all members come together and sign off on this. This charter may be very high level. Or it may be very detailed.

It's important to note that a very detailed charter may take a long time to develop. So it may not prove to be efficient for most teams.

There are many ways to establish team goals. You can see two different scenarios. On one side we have the team around a table.

This is more of a democratic process. There may be someone mediating and taking notes about individual goals, purpose. Everyone is contributing to the goal.

This really helps solidify their commitment and their purpose. It Increases buy in for the goal as well as an understanding of their responsibilities and their roles. When goals are passed down from leadership without a discussion, they may disagree with it. And they may not execute the goal as intended. The roles aren't as clear.

So how did we do? Did we meet our objectives today? Why is a goal important? We talked about the idea of conflict. People may draw different conclusions.

Are there types of goals? Yeah, of course there are types of goals. We talked about the short-term, the medium-term, and the long-term. We also talked about personal goals, role goals, team, department, and organizational goals, and how they all impact each other.

What are SMART goals? We talked about that, Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, realistic, and time-phased. How are goals created? We talked about the team coming together to generate ideas about their own purpose and their own personal goals and role goals.

And what is a team charter? We talked about this being the document that can either be very high level or very detailed.

Thank you for joining me for today's tutorial. I hope to see you again soon.