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The Goal Setting Process


We are about to launch our annual goal setting exercise (whereby each staff member defines what they want to achieve in the forthcoming year - both personally and professionally - and outlines their action plan for doing so).

We want to reinforce/re-energise the benefits as opposed to it being seen as an annual admin' task.

Does anyone have any ideas or success stories (training or otherwise) for how this might be done?

Claire Goodchild

5 Responses

  1. Try these useful resources
    Aligning yourself internally with your goals:

    Get clear on why you want it

    Well formed outcomes

    Dealing with the change monster

    I have collected a range of free web based resources of a similar vein on my website,, some of which may be useful in this and other situations.

    Kind regards

  2. Energising goal setting
    The question “How do you know you are doing a good job?” can help focus attention on goals.

    The real solution comes from creating a culture where staff feel there is real meaning in what they do, not just meaning in what the staff will get in reward, but what reaching the goal will mean for others. To get this message across and get people thinking of the elements of their job and what they mean for other people will take a training input both at manager level and staff level.

    The work I do is based on the Enabling Principles ( and these can be used for this purpose.

  3. WIIFM

    THE key to all motivation is “what’s in it for me?”

    If you want people to be excited about goal setting then you really MUST show them the PERSONAL advantages rather than simply presenting it as company policy, as many companies do.

    There must also be a clear framework which people can refer back to whenever they need to. The most common model is SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-bound (some definitions may vary) – but this is relatively simplistic. My personal favourite is much more IMPRESSive, IMO:

    Individual: minimum dependence on others
    Measurable: You can tell how you are progressing and when the goal has been achieved (or when it is better to abandon it)
    Positive: Describe what you want, will do, not what you are trying to avoid, don’t want to do
    Realistic: Make sure YOU can do this rather than promising something just to please someone else
    Ecological: Review the likely consequences of achieving the goal. Are there any potentially undesirable side-effects?
    Specific: Describe the goal in as much detail as you can – “I want £2m” rather than “I wanna be rich”
    Strategic: Relate the goal to the person’s other goals and long term plans. Does anything need to be modified, etc.?

    Best wishes

    Andy B.

  4. Setting goals must be a positive exercise.
    I am a firm believer of setting goals and working with my team to achieve these. I usually agree annually with indvidual members of the team and actively work with them towards achievement. I always insist that one goal is directly related to improving there role at the school and one for their own professional development.
    I revisit from time to time during the course of the year, in one to one line management meetings, how things are progressing.
    One member of my team has retrained and is now a qualified teacher and another has just moved into another area of administration at the school which gives a broader insight into the workings of a school.

  5. Different approach
    Hi Claire
    an idea from TOC training is, that to properly form personal goals you must first surface all the obstacles to achieving those goals. I use this a great deal and it does two things. Allows you to make stepping stones to each goal by changing obstacles to actions in overcoming them and secondly wil allow you to see the training needs for each individual rather than a company need. We can easily think of things that stop us doing something rather than think of how we can attain them!


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