Saturday, December 21, 2013

Goal: Characteristics

In the last byte, we looked at how goal setting could help enhance motivation, and what would be the requisites from a goal in order to be effective. In today's byte, we look the requisite characteristics of a goal - SMART in more detail.

Specific and Challenging goals helps an individual focus his/her attention on what is to be accomplished and to arouse the person to peak performance. It has been observed in many occupations that people with specific and rather challenging goals outperform people who have easy or unspecific goals.

Goals must be measurable - these could be either qualitative or quantitative, and act as a basis for feedback about goal progress. Time-bound goals enhance the ability to make these goals measurable - the implicit time limit makes it more targeted and removes unspecificity.

Prioritization of goals allows for effective decision making and also allows better allocation of the resources. Individuals can direct their effort and behavior in case of resource conflicts - time, effort etc.

Goal setting essentially plays three functions at the minimum:
  1. Increases work motivation and task performance
  2. Reduces role stress in case of conflicting/confusing expectations
  3. Improves accuracy and validity of performance evaluation

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