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Once & For All: Stopping Sexual Harassment at Work

Posts Tagged ‘goal setting’

Conversation with a Purpose

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015

rick-harry_smGuest Post by Sondra Thiederman, Ph.D.

I confess – I pilfered the title of this article from a man who was renowned as a wise and insightful pathfinder in the field of diversity, Dr. Roosevelt Thomas. A sample of that wisdom is seen in his statement, “Dialogue is conversation with a purpose.” In essence, he is saying that, in order to have real dialogue, we need to know what we want to accomplish during the conversation – we need to set a goal.

Let’s face it, goal setting is important in any aspect of life. If, for example, we dream of a trip to Paris, but neglect to set a goal of saving the amount of money required, the chances of us ever dining at the top of the Eiffel Tower are pretty slim. That’s because we will spend small amounts on other things along the way and get off track.

The same principle applies to conversation. If we don’t know what we want to accomplish, we won’t make the word and attitude choices that will get us to that goal. It is especially likely that we will get off track if we have a strong emotion associated with the interaction. Here are a couple of examples of what I’m talking about along with the kinds of productive goals you might set for each incident.

Example 1: You have been offended by what someone has said or done.
Possible Goals:
A. To embarrass the person and make him or her feel guilty
B. To educate the person about your point of view

As tempting as option “A” might be (let’s be honest, “guilt-tripping” is sometimes tinged with a perverse personal satisfaction), the most productive answer is “B.” Guilt is, after all, rarely a good motivator of change. Your act of trying to make the other person feel guilty will accomplish little more than making them defensive and, in turn, become utterly unable to listen to what you have to say.

Example 2: You have made a clumsy or ignorant remark that you think might have offended someone around you.
Possible Goals:
A. To show respect for your colleagues by calling attention to what you did and apologizing.
B. To minimize the importance and impact of what you said by ignoring it.

The goal here is “A.” The very fact that you are willing to take responsibility for your error shows, not only that you want to communicate respect, but that you are prepared to model truly inclusive behavior.

To return to Dr. Thomas – “Dialogue is conversation with a purpose.” I think he would agree that, if we don’t know where we are going – whether it be in conversation or in life — we just might end up someplace we’d rather not be.

This article is excerpted from the video program, Gateways to Inclusion: Turning Tense Moments Into Productive Conversations, which features Sondra and a variety of vignettes depicting these concepts.

Sondra Thiederman can be contacted for webinars or in-person presentations. For additional information, go to http://thiederman.com

© copyright 2013 Sondra Thiederman, Ph.D.

 

 

 

Making the Impossible POSSIBLE

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

Business people meeting in the officeBig goals and big challenges often feel overwhelming simply because they’re so big.

They can also feel overwhelming if we’re uninspired by the potential outcome.  When we’re not intrigued by what might happen, we’re not engaged – and when we’re not engaged, finding solutions and doing what it takes to create success is very hard work. (more…)

Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

Should we or should we not set big, hairy, audacious goals where success is far from certain (at least without the benefit of hindsight)?

I, for one, am grateful for the existence of people who set big goals. My country (the USA) would not exist otherwise. Nor would my city, my family, our computers, the Internet, my breakfast, this Thanksgiving holiday, or the various freedoms I enjoy today. A number of people close to me would be dead if not for the existence and drive of “unrealistic” goal setters. (more…)

Goals: 7 Top Steps on Goal Setting

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

The following guidelines will help you to set effective goals:

#1 Declare each goal as a decisive statement: Express your goals positively – ‘Implement this procedure well’ is a much better goal than ‘Don’t make this stupid misstep.’

#2 Be clear-cut: Set a precise goal, putting in dates, times and amounts so that you can gauge achievement. If you do this, you will know spot on when you have achieved the goal, and can take complete satisfaction from having achieved it.

#3 Set priorities: When you have a number of goals, give each one a priority. This helps you to prevent feeling overwhelmed by too many goals, and helps to direct your attention to the most significant ones.

#4 Write goals down: This magnifies them and gives them more force.

#5 Keep operational goals small: Keep the low-level goals you are working towards small and realistic. If a goal is too heavy, then it can seem that you are not making development towards it. Keeping goals small and incremental gives more opportunities for reward. Develop today’s goals from larger ones.

#6 Set performance goals, not outcome goals: You should take care to set goals over which you have as much power as possible. There is nothing more disappointing than failing to achieve a personal goal for reasons beyond your rule. In business, these could be bad business environments or unexpected effects of government policy. In sport, for illustration, these reasons could include feeble judging, bad weather, injury, or just plain bad luck. If you base your goals on personal accomplishment, then you can keep control over the achievement of your goals and pull satisfaction from them.

#7 Set realistic goals: It is crucial to set goals that you can reach. All sorts of people, employers, parents, media, society can set unrealistic goals for you. They will often do this in ignorance of your own requirements and ambitions. Then again, you may set goals that are too high, because you may not realize either the obstacles in the way or recognize quite how much aptitudeyou need to develop to achieve a precise level of performance.

Achieving Goals

When you have achieved a goal, take the time to benefit from the satisfaction of having done so. Bask in the implications of the goal achievement, and survey the progress you have made towards other goals. If the goal was a considerable one, reward yourself appropriately. All of this helps you create the self-confidence you deserve!

With the skill of having achieved this goal, review the rest of your goal plans:

If you achieved the goal too easily, make your next goals harder.

If the goal took a dispiriting length of time to achieve, make the next goals a little easier.

If you learned something that would guide you to change other goals, do so.

If you noticed a discrepancy in your skills in spite of achieving the goal, determine whether to set goals to resolve this.

Failure to meet goals does not matter much, as long as you can be trained from it. Supply lessons learned back into your goal setting program.

Remember, too, that your goals will transform as time goes on. Fiddle with them systematically to reveal growth in your learning and experience, and if goals do not hold any attraction any longer, then let them go.

Reference: Some material used from MindTools.com

Written by John Stone. More on Goal Setting. John is looking for 10 people to mentor that are serious about changing their Financial Future.

Need more help in this area? The Who Says We Can’t Do It video program uses the story of Lance Armstrong’s triumph over cancer and his subsequent Tour de France wins to instill a strong, Can do! attitude in your employees.


 

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