How do you set a goal that is worth your effort?

According to the latest neuroscience combined with the experiences of thousands of employees, the best goals integrate what the business needs with what is personally meaningful and valuable to you.

While what’s important to you is fairly straightforward, who else’s perspective matters isn’t always as clear.

To clarify what new learning or performance you might need to add value to your business, it’s important to consult your people leader(s) as well at look at what might be valuable from a customer perspective.

As a starting point, you need to be clear what your people leader’s expectations are for your role. This will help you know what will be valued by the business.

Science tells us that when people feel clear about how they can contribute and what is expected, there is:

  • Reduced activation in the regions of the brain associated with stress/fear
  • Increased concentration and memory
  • Increased ability to perform in complex situations using higher judgement and reasoning
  • Enhanced learning/development
  • Long-term neuroplasticity (i.e. the ability of the brain to change/learn)
  • Improvements in overall health and wellbeing.

If your leader does not initiate a goal-setting discussion with you, you need to take the lead. At a minimum, ask your leader questions that will help you to understand what is specifically required from you and by when.

Over time, clarity around expectations – and how to meet them – will increase a sense of predictability between you and your leader and help to create a higher level of trust.