Goal setting is a mental training technique that has been used for many years to increase individual athletes’ commitment towards achieving their goals. It helps them to score that winning try, cross the finish line first, or make the highest jump.
In business, having goals can encourage individuals to work harder, to be more focused on their tasks and to overcome setbacks more easily. They can help you create a winning business.
So where does it all come from?
Goal setting is a technique first pioneered by Edwin Locke in 1968, who said that setting goals effects performance in four ways. It:
- focuses your attention
- mobilises effort in proportion to the demands of the task
- enhances your persistence
- encourages you to develop strategies for achieving your goals.
Did you know that there are different types of goals?
Outcome Goals are to do with winning or performing better than someone else. They refer to your desired end result. They can be highly motivating long term goals, but as they not under your control and are affected by how others perform, they are limited without related process and performance goals.
An outcome goal for your business could be to have the majority market share in your industry.
Process Goals, over which you have complete control, deal with the technique or strategy necessary to perform well. Process goals can also be established to map the route to achieving the desired outcome goal. They help focus attention and are very effective in helping to control anxiety.
A process goal for a business might be the way in which you deliver a powerful speech to a group of potential clients.
Performance Goals specify a specific standard to be achieved. They are about personal standards and as such are unaffected by the performance of others and so totally under your control. Performance goals can be used to monitor achievement of process goals and progress towards the desired outcome goal. They encourage the development of mastery and can make a performer feel satisfied with a performance even if they do not win.
A performance goal in your business could be related to the speed of delivery of your service, or the level of service you deliver to your clients.
Do you have a range of goals for your business?
Goal setting is not just about identifying what you want to achieve, but also how you will achieve it (process goals) and measure that achievement (performance goals). As with any athlete, you need to set goals according to the age and stage of development of your business and your own confidence, ability and motivation. Beginners require very short term, easily achieved goals to boost their self-confidence whereas the experienced individuals need more challenging yet realistic goals.
How do you go about setting goals to create a winning business?