Category: Goal Setting

Strategies for Setting Team Goals

Strategies for Setting Team Goals

Effective goal setting is essential to the success of a team. Goal setting, however, requires careful strategy and execution. Simply writing down a list of things to do is not goal setting. Goals need to be made on an emotional and intellectual level in order to be achieved successfully.

Related: Goal Setting Outcome Based Team Building

Listening to Emotions

Teams often fail to reach their goals because they ignore the emotional aspect of goal setting. Emotions affect every aspect of a person’s life. They influence health and factor into how well people perform in a team. Feelings towards goals, determine whether or not they are achieved. Feelings of obligation will only motivate someone so far. Goals need to be based on personal vision in order to be effective. Vision statements allow teams to create goals that relate to their convictions and emotions.

  • Recognize team values: Reflect on what the team truly value and how these values will shape the team’s future.
  • Consider team goals: What do you want the team to be like in the future?
  • Write it down: Draft a vision statement, and revisit occasionally to make any necessary adjustments.

Prioritizing

Teams often fail to achieve goals when the number of things they need to do overwhelms them. Goals must be prioritized. It is not possible to concentrate on every goal at once. They should be ranked in order of importance, so that plans can be made accordingly. It is essential to have balanced goals that reflect all areas of life. Personal values and visions should be used to prioritize personal and professional goals.

Re-Gating

Sensory gating is the process that the brain uses to adjust to stimuli. There is a direct connection between the ability to filter out distracting stimuli and performance. Stress, anxiety, and depression can alter the chemistry of the brain and reduce the effectiveness of sensory gating. In order to prevent cognitive issues related to gating, it is important to try re-gating. Gating can be improved by using relaxation techniques that help the mind focus and filter out the distractions. Setting goals require focus and a calm atmosphere. Before setting goals, attempt to use relaxation techniques such as meditation to clear the mind of distractions.

Successful Teams Use SMART Goals

Successful Teams Use SMART Goals

“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” – Tony Robbins

If your team cannot achieve their goals, there is a chance that they are not creating the correct goals. Whenever your team is creating goals, they will find that following the rules for SMART goals will be easier to achieve. SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. When they combine the elements of SMART goals, your team will have a greater chance of success.

Related: Goal Setting Outcome Based Team Building

Specific

Goals need to be specific. Your team will not be able to reach their goals if they are broad and general because planning will be too difficult. For example, “Improve our performance” is too broad. The team cannot work towards this general goal. Specific goals explain what is necessary to complete a goal and guides the team as they try to reach the goal. Specific goals may also identify location, requirements, and the reasoning behind the goal.

Measurable

Goals need to be measurable in order to be effective. A measurable goal specifies the when a goal is accomplished by answering, “how much?” or “how many?” It provides measurable results. Without measurable goals, it is difficult to realize when the goal has been reached.

Attainable

Goals must always be attainable. It is important that the team creates goals that are challenging, but they still need to be within reach. When goals are unattainable, the team will give up on them without even trying. The measure of a goal should always be attainable.

Realistic

It is important that the team set realistic goals. Realistic goals are directly related to the team’s abilities. For example, a goal to reprogram the computer is not realistic if you do not have the education or experience to accomplish the task. Additionally, you need to make sure that the team has access to the tools necessary to meet their goals. If a goal seems unrealistic, break it down into smaller chunks to know for certain.

Timely

Your team should always create goals that have specific time frames. General goals do not establish any time frames, which means that you may continue to pursue goals that you should relinquish. Timely goals encourages the team to move forward in order to meet the deadline they have established. Once a time frame has been reached, the team should take the time to reevaluate the goal.

Achieving Team Goals Using “To Do” Lists

Achieving Team Goals Using “To Do” Lists

“To do” lists are important tools used for achieving team goals, but if “to do” lists are not done properly, they are useless. Too often, teams create lists that they never come close to completing. There are characteristics that effective “to do” lists share. If the team’s “to do” list includes these basic characteristics, the team will find it easier to accomplish the tasks that they established.

Focus on the Important

The main mistake that teams make when creating “to do” lists is making them too long. It is not possible to place every little task on a “to do” list. For a list to be effective, the team must focus on the important tasks. The best method for making a “to do” list is to create a list of everything the team wants to accomplish and then cut that list down to a manageable size. Remember that an important task will align with the team goals. If a task is not important enough to make the list, do not attempt to squeeze it in later. You do not want to split the team’s attention. Focusing only on the important tasks will help the team complete the “to do” list and reach the team goals.

Chunk, Block, Tackle

When creating a “to do” list, the team should keep chunk, block, and tackle in mind. The first part of this strategy should be familiar. The team needs to break up a large task into smaller ones.

  • Chunk: Break projects into tasks that are 15 minutes or less.
  • Block: Block out time to complete each chunk.
  • Tackle: Tackle each specific task individually rather than looking at the entire project.

Related: Goal Setting Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Implementing chunk, block, tackle, will motivate your team to complete the project because they will feel a sense of accomplishment as they complete each chunk. When creating the “to do” list, the team should include the project chunks that they created rather than listing the project as a whole. The team should also include the time estimate for each task.

Make It a Habit

The team needs to make “to do” lists regularly for them to be effective. Creating “to do” lists should become a habit for the team. The best way to accomplish this is by creating the team “to do” list at the same time each day. When creating a new “to do” list, the team should transfer any unfinished tasks from the current list to the list for the next day. Once creating the list becomes a habit, it will become faster and easier for the team to revise the “to do” list every day.

Plan Ahead

“To do” lists will not help the team reach their goals unless they are implemented. Until they are executed, lists are just reminders of what the team still need to accomplish. The key to using lists is to plan ahead. The team should take time to prioritize and schedule the list each day.

How to complete the list:

  • Make a schedule: Schedule the tasks on your “to do” list each day.
  • Set a timer: Set a timer or an alarm for each task.
  • Stay focused: Do not be sidetracked by unimportant tasks.

If the team plans the day around the “to do” list, they will find themselves completing more of the tasks and getting things done.

Helping Your Team Deal With Mistakes

Helping Your Team Deal With Mistakes

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” – Scott Adams

No matter how well your team prepares or what precautions they take, mistakes will happen. Mistakes are an essential part of life. Without them, it is not possible to fully grow and learn. When mistakes do occur, the key is for the team to bounce back, learn from them, and move forward. If your team learns from their mistakes, they are less likely to repeat them.

Take Responsibility For Mistakes

There are two ways to handle mistakes. You can deny the mistake or blame others, or you can accept it and take responsibility for your actions. Becoming defensive and making excuses for their mistakes will not help your team grow or improve. Accepting responsibility for mistakes is always the better option. It is the mature decision and a sign of integrity.

How to Accept Responsibility:

  • Make an appropriate apology: Apologize for mistakes. Do not, however, grovel or become overly emotional.
  • Explain the mistake and the process that led to it.

Related: Find out more about TBAE’s Goal Setting Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Bouncing Back From Mistakes

Encourage your team members to never allow their mistakes to paralyze them. Living in fear of making another mistake will stunt the team’s growth. Everyone makes mistakes, but successful people are able to bounce back. They will make mistakes, but they must be sure to get back on track when mistakes occur. They must keep a positive attitude in the face of mistakes and see them as opportunities for growth. Your team must persevere and focus on the future. Never live in the past. The ability to bounce back after making a mistake shows strength and resilience.

Learn From Mistakes

Mistakes are opportunities to adapt and learn. In order to learn from a mistake, your team must look at the situation honestly. It is imperative that your team shows others, they are able to adapt and change in the face of mistakes. This skill will help your team preserve their reputation. To learn from their mistakes your team should ask themselves the following questions:

  • What went wrong?
  • How did it happen?
  • When did it happen?
  • Why did it happen?
  • How could it have been prevented?

Once you they have the answers to these questions, they will be able to adapt their actions in the future.

Overcome Mistakes By Asking For Help

You can only help your team members when they ask for it. Your team members cannot expect people to automatically know when they need them. When they do ask for help, encourage them to follow basic etiquette.

  • Ask: Do not demand that people help you or manipulate them with guilt.
  • Be straightforward: Do not be dramatic or minimize the help necessary.
  • Be thankful: Always thank friends who are willing to help you succeed.

Reaching Team Goals by Improving Productivity

Reaching Team Goals by Improving Productivity

“Stressing output is the key to improving productivity, while looking to increase activity can result in just the opposite.” – Paul Gauguin

Improving time management strategies will help increase your team’s productivity. By improving productivity, your team will find it easier to reach their goals. Increased productivity takes time. However, as your team begins to implement different strategies, they will discover which methods are effective to improve productivity.

Repeating What Works

There are numerous programs, hints, and tips available to help improve productivity. The key to improvement is discovering what works and repeating actions with the appropriate tools. This requires researching and trying different strategies to determine which ones fit best with your team’s workload and habits. For example, not everyone can use the same technology to keep a schedule. Once you determine which resources and strategies are effective, it is important to keep repeating them. There is no reason to change a routine once you have determined what works for your team. Over time, the repetition will increase productivity and help your team reach their goals.

Get Faster

The faster your team becomes, the more productive they will be. Effort and practice will help increase your team’s speed on tasks that they perform regularly. For example, they can work on getting faster at typing, reading, walking, etc. No matter the task, they can just try to increase the speed a little bit at a time.

Related: Find out more about TBAE’s Goal Setting Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Remove “Should” from Your Dictionary

It is important for your team to avoid uncertainty in their language. For example, the word “should” needs to leave their dictionary. This word implies feelings of guilt because you do not plan on actually following through. For example, someone who says, “I should start exercising every morning” is not likely to start exercising. The decisive word “will” indicates a decision has been made. Saying, “I will start exercising” is making a commitment to follow through with an idea. Making this simple shift in vocabulary will commit your team to action and improve their productivity.

Build on Successes

Success itself can become a cycle if your team start small and build on your achievements. Once your team has a single success, they will find the motivation to work towards more. They should start with a small success and build. Let them begin with a goal that is easy to reach and move on to another achievable goal. These successes will provide a foundation to build on as they attempt to reach more goals and success. By moving from success to success, your team will be able to increase productivity.

Tips for Completing Tasks and Reaching Team Goals

Tips for Completing Tasks and Reaching Team Goals

“I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.” – Helen Keller

It is easy to begin tasks, but completing them can at times be more challenging. There always seems to be something that distracts a team from completing their tasks. Given how easy it is to procrastinate and avoid tasks, most team members have a list of tasks waiting to be completed. As this list grows, stress levels increase. By following a few simple tasks, your team members can improve their chances of accomplishing their goals, staying on track, and reducing stress levels.

The One Minute Rule

Most team members detest doing the small, mundane tasks. These tasks may seem unimportant to your team members, but over time, they will pile up, which will diminish focus and waste time. For example, if you do not take the garbage out regularly, it will overflow. This makes a simple task much more difficult. Implementing the one minute rule eliminates this difficult situation and protects your team’s focus.  According to the one minute rule, if a task will only take one minute, it should be completed immediately. A single minute will not put your team behind schedule, and following the rule will save the team time in the long run.

Related: Find out more about TBAE’s Goal Setting Outcome Based Team Building Activities

The Five Minute Rule

Schedules are only helping a team focus and manage time when they are done correctly. A common mistake that people make when creating schedules are making them too strict. It is not possible to plan the day down to the minute. When creating a schedule, you should follow the five minute rule. The five minute rule is simple: allow at least five minutes between scheduled tasks. This time is set aside so that you can complete small tasks that you have been avoiding or neglecting. The five minutes do more than provide time to complete small, seemingly unimportant projects. They also provide a buffer between scheduled activities, which will help keep your team on schedule in case a task runs longer than expected.

Break Up Large Tasks

Some tasks have multiple steps. These tasks may be overwhelming to your team if they look at the complete picture. By breaking these tasks up into their basic steps, your team will be able to remain focused as they work. Additionally, they will feel a sense of achievement as they complete each step in the process. Breaking down a task into manageable steps will make them much easier to manage. Additionally, you will be more likely to complete a project when you break it down into smaller tasks.

Utilize Technology

Technology has made completing tasks much easier. Computer software and online programs help teams manage tasks, create reminders, and track their progress. Besides computer programs, there are countless apps now that help you make lists, keep track of schedules, and complete tasks.

Help Your Team Reach Their Goals Through Wise Time Management

Help Your Team Reach Their Goals Through Wise Time Management

In a team, time management is the key to reaching goals. Without proper time management, it is easy for the team to become sidetracked by unimportant tasks that do not help them reach their goals. By encouraging your team to follow the following strategies, you will be helping your team navigate their time wisely.

Related: Time Management Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Determine the Difference Between Urgent and Important Tasks

In order to manage time effectively, your team needs to determine the difference between urgent and important tasks. Urgent tasks are tasks that need to be done quickly, and important tasks are related to specific goals. Most tasks will be a combination of the two, such as urgent/important or urgent/unimportant. Your team needs to place priority on important tasks, completing tasks that are both urgent and important first.

The key to time management is not to become trapped performing urgent tasks that are not important. They may be important to other people, but they are distractions and interruptions that do nothing to help the team meet their goals. Important tasks should take priority because they focus on specific goals.

The 80/20 Rule

The 80/20 rule states that only 20 percent of our actions are responsible for 80 percent of our successes. This means that it is necessary to discover the 20 percent of our actions that are the most effective. Get your team to focus on these actions and make them priorities. The 80/20 Rule should be linked to the goals of the team. Once you prioritize goals, the team should spend most of their time working on the 20 percent of activities that they know will move them forward.

Find out more about TBAE’s Goal Setting Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Utilize a Calendar

Calendars are essential to effective time management. Calendars are familiar tools, but they are not always used effectively. When using a calendar to manage time, it is important that you only use one. Given the different calendar options, it is easy to try to integrate different calendars, but you risk scheduling mistakes. You can choose from physical calendars, mid tech options like day-timer, and high tech apps for your phone. Find the calendar that works for you and stick with it.

Calendar Rules:

  • Keep the calendar with you: Leaving the calendar behind means that you may forget to list something on it.
  • Only list appointments and day events: Appointments require specific times. Events include birthdays, anniversaries, etc.
  • Avoid notes: Do not clutter your calendar. Have a separate section for notes.
  • Include phone numbers: While you should avoid clutter, phone numbers and addresses may be useful.

Create Rituals to Improve Time Management

Rituals can help improve time management in your team. Rituals are repetitive actions, which do not need to be scheduled. For example, you do not think about brushing and flossing before bed or making coffee with breakfast. By creating rituals that connect with the team goals, the team members will not have to schedule certain tasks. These rituals will become habits over time.

Motivating Your Team to Achieve Their Goals

Motivating Your Team to Achieve Their Goals

“Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal – a commitment to excellence – that will enable you to attain the success you seek.” – Mario Andretti

Goals can be inspiring, but that inspiration can fade in the reality of everyday life. In order for your team to achieve their goals, it is important that you find ways to motivate the team. You cannot constantly rely on external motivation. Implementing different methods of motivation such as remembering peak moments, writing down goals and gamification will help keep your team focused and positive as they work towards their goals.

Remind The Team of Peak Moments

Positive memories are powerful motivators. Remembering peak moments create a sense of achievement and encourages the team to seek out that same feeling again. Peak moments are not relegated to work accomplishments. They are any strong memories that create positive feelings. Looking back over the team’s peak moments will show them how much they already have achieved, and how far they have already come. It will encourage and motivate them to keep moving forward and reach their goals.

Write Down the Team Goals

Knowing the goals is not enough to keep the team motivated; you have to write them down. Writing down goals creates a visual reminder of where the team is going. When you are writing down your team goals, remember to use the present tense or the present perfect tense. This will help the team visualize reaching the goals. Once the goals are written down, you should display them someplace where the team will see them regularly.

Find out more about TBAE’s Goal Setting Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Use Gamification
Gamification uses the process of game dynamics to blend intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Unlike online games that can become obstacles to productivity, gamification will actually help the team achieve their goals. This system allows the team to earn points towards rewards by accomplishing tasks. The points earned provide incentives to complete more tasks and earn more rewards.

Create Your Own Game:

  • Identify tasks: List the tasks/chores that needs to be accomplished.
  • Assign points: Assign a number of points to each task. Tasks that the team typically avoids should be given more points to provide greater incentive.
  • Assign rewards: Determine how many points are necessary to earn each reward. Higher point counts should be given to rewards that are more valuable. The rewards will depend on what motivates the team most.
  • Keep score: Find a method to keep track of the points that works for you. You could use a spreadsheet or list them in an app on your phone.

You will probably have to adjust your game to find the most motivating rewards system. Once you have made the necessary adjustments, you will have fun helping your team reach their goals.

Track Your Team’s Progress

Tracking your team’s progress will help you see their accomplishments and which areas require more effort. Additionally, showing them the improvements that they make will motivate them to continue their hard work. Over time, you should see your team consistently reaching more of their goals. There are different ways to track progress. You may choose to do it by hand, use a spreadsheet, or use an online tool. Do not expect your team to always reach all of their goals. The purpose of tracking progress is to show the areas that need more of your focus.

team-building-activity-quote

Four Keys to Setting Goals for Your Team

Four Keys to Setting Goals for Your Team

“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” – Zig Ziglar

Goal Setting is a very important part of building a successful team. Your team needs goals to ensure that things get done. However, not every goal is effective. The way that you word your goals will determine whether or not your team accomplish them. The following are four keys to establishing goals that are effective.

Goals Need to Be Positive
It is important that the goals you create for your team are positive. Positive goals focus on what you what you want to achieve, whereas negative goals focus on what you want to avoid. Staying focussed on the positive will help improve the team’s outlook and remove any negativity. This, in turn, will improve your team’s chances for success. Also keep in mind to be as specific as possible when creating positive goals.

Make Goals Personal
Try and create goals that incorporate the dreams and desires of the team members. Goals that are personal are usually also more effective. Making goals personal places the responsibility of reaching the goals on the team members.

Goals Need to Be Possible
When creating goals for our team, you need to make sure that they are possible. When you set impossible goals, you set your team up for failure and disappointment. Creating possible goals demands that you are honest with yourself. Some goals may require continued education or experience to achieve while others will remain out of reach. You need to assess the talents of the team and determine what you can achieve with hard work and what will be impossible for the team to accomplish. Once you have determined which goals are possible for your team to achieve, success will be within reach.

Goals Need to Be Prioitized
Brainstorming goals can become overwhelming and your team can easily end up with more goals than they can handle. This is the time to prioritize the goals of your team. Begin by numerically ranking the goals and choosing the five goals that are the most important. All of the team’s time and energy should be spent working towards these goals. Any other goals should be placed on the back burner. It is not possible to focus on 20 goals at the same time. You may need to re-prioritize the goals periodically. For example, you can re-prioritize after your team achieved one of the top five goals.

Find out more about TBAE’s Goal Setting Outcome Based Team Building Activities