Business Management: The Art of Goal Setting

The art of goal setting is essential in the world of business. Smart business owners and CEOs understand that knowing how to make a business plan, set goals and deadlines is critical for growing a business. There are some basic guidelines on goal setting that can be used in most settings, but the world of business is slightly different. To succeed in the highly competitive business world, where the market is a fierce battleground, managers need to fully understand what goal setting is and how to take advantage of this incredibly rewarding business strategy.

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Let’s take a look at what are the main ideas behind the art of goal setting and how to use them for your business:

  1. Know your goals

Firstly, you’ll need to know exactly what a goal is. You simply can’t learn about goal setting without knowing what a goal is, which are your goals and how many will you set. As most managers already know, a goal is not a supernatural dream, a fantasy story or an idea. Goals should be real life, hard, tangible tasks that can be achieved through consistent effort and focus.

A four-step method to identify goals, called WOOP, was devised by Oettingen, an American psychologist:

  • Wish – think about what you want and how you envision an idea; what is your wildest dream about your company? Challenge an idea and try to see it develop into a real goal
  • Outcome – your wish can become reality if you work hard enough and focus all the way; what will it look like in the end? Experience the possible outcome and imagine how it would look like when complete
  • Obstacles – what are the obstacles that can stop you from achieving your goal? How can you overcome them and head for success? Try to uncover the barriers, defeat your negative thoughts and have an optimistic outlook
  • Plan – devise a plan of attack; focus on your work, manage your team and set deadlines
  1. Manage your daily tasks

Okay, now you know your goals and are able to determine and devise a plan. You have a bold goal, you know your main obstacles, you know your team and how to tackle it.

If your goal requires a lot of documents that need to be shared and or edited, having them secured in an online document management system, like Lucion’s FileCenter, can aid in successfully and effectively completing your goals.

Now it’s the time to do something about this huge goal: break it into tiny, one-bite pieces. Having large goals segmented into smaller ones will help you tremendously when working on them. These so-called “measurable goals” are easy to track, assign and manage. You will be able to control their outcome, create a schedule and work in multiple, interconnected teams.

For instance, you are a sales manager for a team of 5 salesmen. You set the main goal of 25 new clients until the end of the month. This goal can be further segmented in five equal batches of 5 clients each (5*5). For starters, you can assign a goal of 1 client/week/employee, which is easily manageable, both for you and for your employees.

Many managers believe in the “daily task” strategy, in which every employee has a “piece of the cake” assigned. This will motivate your staff, but it won’t be too stressful and tiring in the long run. Cutting the work in half is another strategy which is often employed by managers. For instance, if you want to run a marathon in the next six months, try to cut down the time to three months, then one month and a half. The idea is to see if you can cut up a large goal in several more manageable tasks. A 26.2-mile marathon sounds feasible if your training sessions consist of several shorter races. 

Flaviu Mircea is small business owner and freelance writer who enjoys sharing articles and insights into effectively running an office. If you would like to learn more about Flaviu and his organizational skills, you can check out his Google+ profile.

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