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Coaching smart goals. The art of setting meaningful goals

Coaching smart goals. The art of setting meaningful goals

Coaching smart goals

Smart goals and behavioral goals

The business gets direction and focus with relevant and common goals.

Start from what is essential to follow up in the business in order for it to develop in the right direction to find out which goals are relevant to you. Some goals can be set for each employee while others can be common goals.

There are different types of goals and two of the most common are behavioral goals and so-called "smart goals".

Characteristic of a smart goal

Characteristics of a smart goal are that it is:

  • Specifically - It must be delimited and clear.
  • Measurable - You must have decided in advance how you know if the goal has been achieved.
  • Accepted - The goal must be accepted by those affected by it.
  • Realistic - The goal must be felt possible to achieve.
  • Time-bound - There must be a specific time frame for when the goal must be achieved.


Example: "Product x has a production time that will be shortened by 20% compared to 1 January this year. The time frame for the goal is that it must be met on 1 January next year. Production time is measured via the Y-report. ”

By following the smart model, you get the advantage that it becomes easy to understand and possible to achieve the goals you set. It also provides a clear measurement value to see if the goal has been achieved.

Of course, there are also disadvantages to smart goals. One of these is that it can be difficult to link smart goals to their work for individual employees. How an employee has contributed to an operational goal that has been achieved can be impossible to know and using behavioral goals can therefore be more motivating for the employees.


Behavioral goals - another smart method

Behavioral goals clearly describe what each individual employee needs to do to develop the business in the right direction. Based on the values ​​of the business, you can set relevant behavioral goals and they can be part of the salary criteria.

It must be clearly defined which behaviors need to be followed up. They need to be specified and observable.


Example: “We want a more open climate where employees can contribute their ideas to a greater extent, in order to promote the development of the business. A behavioral goal that is observable and measurable is that employees, at each monthly meeting, must contribute at least two ideas of their own. ”


First, find out what behaviors you want and need to follow up. The goals that have the greatest impact in achieving your strategy and business plan must be prioritized.

You need to set a measurement value to show whether the goal has been achieved or not after a predetermined time. This must be decided in collaboration with the person or persons who will work towards the goal.

Behavioral goals are always set at the individual level, but they can also apply to an entire group or workplace. They can support both personal development and business development.


The advantage of behavioral goals versus smart goals

It becomes clear what each individual employee needs to do or change to achieve the goal when the goal is linked to a behavior. Everyone can then focus on their own part in the development instead of a results-oriented goal that can be influenced by many factors.



Decide jointly on a reconciliation occasion when the goals are to be followed up.

The follow-up provides the opportunity to adjust goals and working methods based on your successes and setbacks so that development will go in the right direction.


Tips for follow-up

Asking questions about the goals, resources, schedule and what has been difficult or easy is a good way to evaluate and follow up.

Examples of questions:

  • Did we achieve the goals? What have we learned along the way?
  • What worked well? What needs to change?
  • How did the distribution of responsibilities and powers work?
  • What difference have we made to the outside world? What value have we created?
  • What have I learned? How have I grown?
  • What do you need from me right now for you to reach your goals?


SMART goals

SMART goals are used to define the client's goal image and focus energy on reaching where the client wants

The letters in the word SMARTA stand for the different parts used to set goals.

As it is the client who sets the goals, the description below is made in I-form.

S: Specifically - exactly what, where do I want to go? Be as specific as possible

M: Measurable - quantity, for example size, number. This is important so that we know when the goal has been reached.

A: Attractive - the goal should feel important to reach. The goal should lead to things I really want to achieve or do and be based on my visions and dreams.

R: Realistic - it should be possible to implement. I should feel that it is reasonable for the time, the health, the money, the creativity I have and the support I have around me.

T: Deadline - When should the goal be reached? It is clearer with an exact date instead of "sometime at the end of the month". It also acts as an anchor in reality.

A: Accepted - The goal must be accepted by me and those affected by the goal.

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Synonyms for goal

  • purpose, purpose, objective, policy, focus
  • end point, direction point, destination