Streetwise — Goal Orientation

August 30, 2019

From our friends at Eure Consulting:

This is the sixth installment in our 25 week series exploring the 25 competencies, or soft skills, that our assessments measure. Each week we’ll give you the definition of that competency, explain its value, and give you tips to help you develop it. This week: Goal Orientation.

Goal Orientation is the ability to set, pursue and attain goals, regardless of obstacles or circumstances. Here the key phrase is “regardless of obstacles or circumstances”. Many of us are capable of setting goals, but we tend to give up once we meet resistance or we get distracted. Those that are highly skilled in Goal Orientation do not. They reach their goals no matter what.

Being well developed in Goal Orientation means that you are able to not only set goals, but to set realistic and yet challenging goals. You are well aware of your abilities and know what you’re capable of, and you don’t shy away from a challenge. Those that score high in Goal Orientation are generally great doers. Once they set their goals, they’re off to the races to get it taken care of. They gather the necessary resources and people and start moving. They don’t get pulled away by the urgent and immediate, but stick to focusing on the important.

Goal Orientation is a vital skill to develop in this world of attention overload. You, as a leader, must be able to demonstrate it, as well as be able to teach it to others, if you expect to meet and exceed your goals. There have never been more distractions in the workplace that take you and your team off focus and there’s no way to avoid them. What you can do, for yourself and your direct reports, is develop great Goal Orientation to help keep you on track. If you’d like to start developing your Goal Orientation skills, start by analyzing how you’re setting goals and prioritizing tasks. Each day, as you begin work, write down everything that you want and/or need to accomplish that day. Then prioritize that list. At the end of the week, reflect back on how you did. Did you meet every goal that you set out for yourself? If so, could you have done more? If not, what kept you from succeeding? What could you have done better? Could or should you have delegated any items? Doing this will help give you a better understanding of your true capabilities and which activities you are most excited and eager to accomplish, those areas that are easy for you to set and reach goals. How can you stretch yourself in the less appealing areas?

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