Creating Effective Goals in the workplace


Writing Effective Goals

Developing goals begins with creating well designed and written goal statements; specifying the aims, objectives or targets you want to achieve. These goal statements deal with various aspects of your life such as career, personal, financial and so on. An Action Plan should accompany every goal statement, specifying the strategies needed and means for reaching your ends.

One system used successfully by leaders and people who wish to apply goal setting principles into their lives is the SMART system. By ensuring your goal statements are SMART, you create a system for managing each action step and increasing the potential to achieve these goals. Developing well designed goals or objectives provide an effective basis for planning. A common approach is to use SMART principles i.e.:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic, and
  • Time Bound

In a work team, goals must be communicated to all people involved with the work plan or whose work could be affected by any changes involved.  Goals also need to be constantly revised to make sure that each of the SMART criteria is satisfied. This will create far greater clarity for all concerned.  You are more likely to stick with and achieve your goals if you develop them yourself. You are also in a position to influence others such as team members, so encourage them to participate actively in setting their own goals and contributing to team goals.  Individuals who feel that they have some ownership or say in setting their own goals, are more likely to be motivated to accomplish them, leading to performance improvement.








Time to Start Self-monitoring in the Workplace


Some people are always in trouble at work. They may be competent, hardworking and productive, but performance reviews tend to rate them as no better than average, and they seem to make a career of irritating managers.

This may be due to politically ineptness, where difficulties are experienced in adjusting their behaviour to fit changing situations.  We could describe these persons as low self-monitors.

Self-monitoring refers to an individual’s ability to adjust his or her behaviour to external, situational factors.

Individuals high in self-monitoring show considerable adaptability in adjusting their behaviour to external situational factors.  They are highly sensitive to external cues and can behave differently in different situations.

High self­-monitors are capable of presenting striking contradictions between their public persona and their private self.

High self-monitors tend to:

  • Pay closer attention to the behaviour of others and are more capable of conforming than are low self-monitors.
  • Receive better performance ratings, are more likely to emerge as leaders.
  • Be more mobile in their careers, receive more promotions (both internal and cross-organisational), and
  • Occupy central positions in an organisation

Low self-monitors, can’t disguise themselves in that way.  They tend to display their true dispositions and attitudes in every situation.  There is high behavioural consistency between who they are and what they do.  Behavioural consistency – although worthy in itself – backfires when empathy and sensitivity to the needs of others are not considered.

How would you rate yourself?

This topic has been taken from the module ‘Understanding Yourself’. It forms part of The Pivot Institutes non-accredited program – Fundamentals of Management. This program is often customised to suit our clients in large organisation who have a large number of individuals in managerial and supervisory roles.






Building Trust in Teams

Building Trust In Teams

Throughout your working life you are more than likely to be required to work in teams. In order for teams to work, there are certain traits that are required. Trust is one of the preferred traits. Research shows that when there is a certain level of trust between two people they will work better with each other.
Trust is much easier to build face to face, simply because we pick up so much information visually, for example through tone of voice, body language and words. We can observe people in different situations and develop rapport based on how they treat us when other people are around. Trust is an important part of all our relationships. Trust only occurs because of action.

To build trust, you can:
o Be honest and open at all times with everyone
o Work cooperatively with others and share relevant information
o Seek and acknowledge the input of others in the development of new ideas and approaches
o Act with discretion and keep private information confidential
o Be consistent in your behaviour
o Be supportive and reliable
o Show genuine interest
o Keep your commitments and promises
o Ensure your words and actions reflect your values
o Admit your mistakes quickly, without any ‘buts’, and right wrongs fast
o Help others to learn from their mistakes and move on, and
o Walk the talk

And just as trust can be developed through positive behaviours and actions, it can be destroyed through negative actions. The table below identifies ways of building trust and ways of destroying trust.

  • Building trust through positive   behaviours
    Work cooperatively with others
    Act with discretion and keep private information   confidential
    Be supportive and reliable
    Be consistent in your behaviour
    Admit your mistakes quickly
    Keep promises
    Share relevant information

    Destroying trust through negative   behaviours
    Show only self-interest and disrespect for   others
    Betray the trust of others
    Ridicule other people, especially when   others are around
    Moralise about the behaviour of others
    Avoid taking the blame for your mistakes
    Consistently break your promises
    Keep organisational information to yourself

Providing Feedback

Providing feedback

Providing Feedback

How often do you praise someone for doing a good job or subtly point out to someone when they aren’t doing something correct or in the most efficient way? Feedback is often vital for a person to grow in both personal and in professional aspects.

Feedback is the 2 way flow of specific information between a manager and an employee. Specific feedback can be positive or negative.

Positive feedback is specific when a manager congratulate or thank a person for doing a good job in getting a specific task completed. It states what the job was and why the effort was appreciated, e.g. because it saved time or costs.

Negative feedback – when it is specific – is provided to eliminate or reduce a behaviour or result that was unsatisfactory. It should include corrective comments on why the behaviour did not meet the standard and be offered in a constructive manner that builds on the parts that were well done.

Feedback is information that enables individuals to compare actual performance with a given standard or expectation. Feedback involves offering your perceptions in a non-judgmental manner and supplying data that others can use to examine and change behaviours. It facilitates goal setting and performance improvement.

Through feedback, direct information is provided about how the employee has performed and how to direct future efforts in terms of corrective action (do more of this, stop doing that). If the feedback is constructive, truthful, fair and not given as a personal attack, the information gained can be invaluable in enhancing performance and personal and professional growth.

Benefits of giving, getting and asking for effective feedback include:
• Ensures that individuals focus on meeting organisational goals and objectives.
• Reinforces positive and effective actions and behaviours.
• Provides corrective action for ineffective or problematic behaviours.
• Asking for feedback on your performance can ensure that you are performing as well as you assume you are and also enable you to improve on your areas of weaknesses.

Speak up and don’t be afraid to ask. Constructive criticism, just like praise are both known to provide the recipient with the motivational drive to work harder.

Key Behaviours for Effective Goal Setting

key behaviours for effective goal setting

Key Behaviours for Effective Goal Setting

With the 2021 New Year, many of us are now setting our goals, resolutions, hopes and dreams. This year plan your approach to ensure success.

Your ability to achieve your goals will depend greatly on your approach:

o Visualise the outcome: imagine being at the completion point of your goal. State your goals as if you have already accomplished them. Strive for performance, not outcomes.

o Develop a support network: determine the resources that will be necessary for you to achieve your goals. Obtain support and commitment from individuals who will be essential in ensuring your success. Connect with people who will support you in attaining your goals.

o Be honest with yourself: evaluate objectively how well you accomplish your goals and objectives and focus on self improvement. Ask others to give you feedback in the important areas and any ideas they may have for improvement.

o Reward accomplishments: once you have reached a step or milestone, provide yourself with a reward. Celebrating your continual accomplishments will help to maintain your optimism and belief in your abilities while recharging your commitment and motivation to goal achievement.

o Don’t lose sight of the big picture: make a habit of reminding yourself of your goals on a daily basis.

o Review the process: goal setting is not a one time action; it is an ongoing process. Your priorities may change, so your resources may need to be re-evaluated or you may need to make adjustments to overcome unforeseen obstacles. Goals should remain fluid, enabling you to plan, react and adapt to changing circumstances as needed.

o Being positive: when facing obstacles and challenges. The ability to maintain a positive attitude and resilience in the face of difficulty is a key success factor in goal setting. Understand that there will be setbacks and continually search for means to overcome obstacles and secure all necessary resources.

o Adopting an optimistic ‘can-do’ attitude can be most beneficial and this may also be a good time to tap into your support network. It is also helpful to describe goals in a positive tone; focus on achieving a positive rather than trying to eliminate a negative. For example, say ‘I want to develop and use my coaching skills to build a high performing team’ rather than saying ‘I need to improve my poor coaching skills’

o Chunking: involves breaking goals down into smaller, simpler, more manageable tasks. Successfully completing small goals will build confidence and create momentum towards future goal setting behaviour. Setting milestones for marking your progress will make broader, long-term goals seem more attainable.

o Accepting personal responsibility: even though you may need to ask for help and support of others, you are in control of your actions. Set your goals with the understanding that you have the power to direct your efforts towards personal productivity. You can only influence or change things over which you have control; and a lot of things are already within your control.

o Persevering: effective goal completion requires the ability to maintain strong forward motion. Perseverance is essential for successfully reaching every goal you want to achieve.

Planning your approach to how you set your goals, may mean this year you actually complete your goals!

On behalf of the Pivot team, we’d like to wish you a happy, successful and health 2021 and we look forward to seeing you during the year.