Goal setting is an essential exercise for teams and individuals. Besides just improving focus and motivation, goals lead to increased personal and professional development, a heightened sense of fulfillment, and increased productivity.  

One of the keys to getting the most out of this process, however, is ensuring that you have an effective method for creating, tracking, and adjusting goals. Many teams focus on creating SMART goals, which are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based.  

While this is an effective method to use, it’s important for leaders to appreciate that there are lots of other methods out there that could be a better fit for their teams. Exploring some of these methods can lead to pushing teams further and getting even more out of the process. Here are a few other goal-setting methods that leaders might consider using to help center, focus, and motivate their teams going into the new year.  

GROW Goal Setting  

The GROW model of coaching is a straightforward process for developing teams. It’s a system that makes it easier for leaders – regardless of training or background – to help get the most out of their team.  

GROW stands for goal, current reality, obstacles or options, and way forward or will. It’s a framework that was originally created in the 1980s by business coaches to help leaders and teams plan their journey forward. As a result, it’s helpful to think of this method as a journey: start by looking at the goal or where you’re going. To consider how you’ll get there, you first have to look at where you are, your current reality. With the starting point and ending point in mind, it’s then just a matter of creating a path forward and considering things that might stand in your way.  

Many performance consulting experts agree that the GROW method, with its four simple steps, can be surprisingly effective. Organizations can use the GROW method as the backbone of their coaching strategy, and many have seen outstanding results in both team and personal success. The GROW method offers a good overall framework for professional development and is particularly helpful when planning long-term career goals. If you’re looking to push your team to the next level and really inspire them, the GROW goal-setting process might be a good fit.  

SPIRO Method 

The SPIRO method was created by J.E. Jones and published in the early 70s. It’s similar to the SMART goal method but has some unique advantages. SPIRO stands for:  

  • Specificity – meaning the goal is clear, specific, and stated in concrete terms 
  • Performance – which challenges individuals to consider what will result from their goal. What is the outcome or objective? What are you trying to accomplish?  
  • Involvement – what’s your individual role in setting this goal? What are others’ roles? What steps will you take to help achieve it?  
  • Realism – consider whether the goal is possible given the time frame, other demands, your resources, lifestyle, constraints, etc.  
  • Observability – this piece is similar to measurability but a slightly different take. This involves thinking about what you will be able to see or observe once your goal is accomplished.  

The SPIRO method is particularly good to use in group settings. The involvement piece lets everyone evaluate their role and see how their job impacts the larger organizational goal. It also can be a good process to use for training and workshops, as it’s effective at helping drive progress with less tangible goals.  

OKR Goals  

OKR stands for objective and key results goals. It’s a relatively simple method that involves focusing on a clear outcome, usually a large goal, and some of the key results that you want to get from your goal. With the OKR method, leaders set a large goal and then work with teams to put together the steps to achieve the goal.  

It’s a good method for managers to use when setting goals for an entire organization, as it’s particularly effective for large groups that need to work together.  

Value-Based Goals  

Goals are easier to achieve and mean more when they’re aligned with your personal or organizational goals. As a result, setting goals and connecting them to values can be a particularly powerful way to motivate individuals and teams.  

For example, if an individual goal is to respond to all emails regularly, connecting that goal to a value of communication and collaboration can help to anchor it and give it more weight. This method is a helpful way to stay inspired and to ensure that you’re prioritizing what you value most.  

One-Word Goals  

This goal-setting method is exactly what the name suggests. It’s a simple yet effective way of condensing and internalizing goals. When setting one-word goals, you simply come up with one word that describes and sums up your goal and then use that word to keep you motivated.  

This is not as helpful for specific organizational goals but can be a great motivator for more personal or less tangible goals. With one word to focus on, it makes it easier to remember and stay focused on your primary goals throughout the ups and downs of the year.  

Be Thoughtful With Goal Setting This Year  

Our team engages in a variety of different goal-setting processes that are focused on setting both teams and individuals up for success. We believe that effective goal setting is one of the best ways to ensure that our team is consistently developing and that we’re providing excellent results for clients.  

We encourage you to explore some of the different goal-setting methods discussed above to see if you can push your team and yourself even further this year. Good luck and happy goal setting!