Setting Goals

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When networking and managing public relations, you should have clear and measurable goals in what you want to achieve when networking. Unclear goals could lead to missed goals and frustration. Understanding how to formulate goals that are realistic and achievable will help you network with results. In order to build great goals, you will need a basic understanding of the following:

  • Understanding goals in general
  • SMART goal writing
  • Helping others with goal setting

These are the topics in this module. We will begin with a general understanding of goals.

Understanding Goals

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You can call a goal a dream with a deadline. In business, goals are essential for success. Goals state an expected outcome or achievement. Goals have to be planned and written down. Goals also have to be clearly defined. You cannot say, “My goal is to be the best sales person this year.” While this is something noble to say, this statement is more of a mission than a goal. Instead, you may say, “My goal is to sell 20 widgets to each of my top three customers in 12 months.” The second example clearly states aspects of a goal that is visible. 

The benefits to having clear goals are the following:

  • You will accomplish more because you will have a clear list of items to achieve instead of broad mission statements.
  • You will make better decisions because you clear goals will allow you to have boundaries that will guide your alternatives. 
  • You will be more confident because you know what you need to do to reach your goals and you will not be caught off guard.
  • You will be seen as someone who gets things done.
  • You will have a clear direction and purpose in your life because what you do every day will drive towards your goal. 

Goals do not have to be confined to your work life. You can apply goal setting to these areas of your life:

  • Your career
  • Retirement
  • Family goals
  • Educational achievement
  • Physical/diet

Remember to align your work goals with the overall mission and vision of your organization. You want to ensure success by producing results that help the organization achieve their goals.

SMART Goals

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Goal writing should not be an unstructured activity. The more structure and consistency your goals are, the easier to achieve them. How do you write a goal? In the last lesson, we talked about making goals too broad. Broad goals are usually unachievable because there are no tangible aspects that mark success or achieving of the goal. 

The most consistent way to write goals is using the SMART format. SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timed. Writing your goals in this format will help you write better goals and increase your ability to achieve them. 

Let’s look at SMART goal writing in detail. 

  • Specific: write a well-defined goal statement. Here are some examples of a goal statement:
  • I want to increase my sales.
  • I want to obtain new clients.
  • Measurable: include in your goal statement a measurable number. Having a clear number that you can measure will help you know if you are going in the right direction. I will also help you know when you achieved the goal. Here are some examples:
  • I want to increase my sales by 10 percent.
  • I want to obtain five new clients.
  • Achievable: Setting big goals is great, but setting unrealistic goals will just de-motivate you. A good goal is one that challenges, but is not so unrealistic that you have virtually no chance of accomplishing it.
  • Relevant: Before you even set goals, it’s a good idea to sit down and define your core values and your life purpose because it’s these tools, which ultimately decide how, and what goals you choose for your life. Goals, in and of themselves, do not provide any happiness. Goals that are in harmony with our life purpose do have the power to make us happy. 
  • Timed: always include some type of deadline that marks the end of the period to achieve the goal. Without a timeframe, you will never know if you have achieved the goal or not. Here are some examples:
  • I want to increase my sales by 10 percent by the end of the year.
  • I want to obtain five new clients by the end of the first quarter.

Of course, it will take practice and feedback to achieve excellent goal writing skills. Sharing your goals with your manager is a good practice and this will demonstrate your desire to achieve goals. 

Helping Others with Goal Setting

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For some, goal setting is a daunting task. Sharing best practices with others is a great way to strengthen your network. If you encounter someone having difficulty with goal writing, invite him or her to spend time with you and help him or her with the goal writing process. At least once a year, a manager has to write goals for their department or employees. Watch for peers that are finding it difficult to writing goals. Share the SMART method of writing goals. 

In addition, allow yourself to be their source of feedback when writing goals. Helping others with their goal writing will create a strong professional relationship that will spread throughout your network. Remember that networking is not only about what you can get out of it. It should also be something you invest time and effort to by helping others grow professionally.

  • You help to create a stronger network
  • You may learn some new ideas
  • You get to practice goal writing some more
  • You get to see others achieve success

At the center of this, should be a desire to see others achieve success. When you put people at the center of your goals, you will see your network grow and it will be strengthen.

Case Study 

Jenna’s wheels were turning, but headed in the wrong direction. Bree tried to intervene and ground Jenna. Jenna felt like she didn’t have enough arms to get the job done. Bree offered her hand. Jenna’s eyes glossed over. She’d had enough. Jenna needed a clear goal in mind. Bree grabbed her tool bag of tricks and the two began to build a solid plan with measurable goals and deadlines. Like two surgeons, Jenna and Bree tore apart the scenario and laced it back together, hoping that it would stick. Jenna looked back at what they’d done and like what she saw. On the board, they’d created a road map to Jenna’s success. Jenna no longer had to twiddle her thumbs and fret about where to begin. Jenna had a clear plan in front of her and dove in to get to work feeling much more organized than before.