Skillset New Zealand Blog

Ideas to help your team develop personally and professionally.

So you want to lose weight, buy a yacht or retire young and good health?.

Imagining success, no matter how vividly, isn't enough. And unrelenting positivity and optimism will probably only get you as far as the first setback.

Here's my summary of the best evidence available - from researchers who have tested various techniques for achieving goals on large numbers of strivers.

  1. Write a specific goal  Base it on the SMART acronym (but remembering that SMART is only a start).
  2. Decide the purpose of that goal so that you can keep reminding yourself of it: "I want to lose weight so that I can play sport/have fun with the kids...'
  3. Write mini-goals so that when you achieve them you will know you are on your way to achieving your ultimate goal
  4. Tie the behaviours you want to inevitable events (more).
  5. Stay realistically optimistic, generally positive, but accepting that setbacks are part of the challenge.
  6. Plan what you will do if you encounter a setback or obstacle to your goal.
  7. Review your progress regularly and write the results. Ideally, tell other people about your progress.
  8. If you are not making enough progress, brainstorm behaviours that will be more productive.
  9. Forgive lapses and get yourself back on track asap.

Recognise some things you are doing already? Good, but 'I knew that' is also a trap. What really matters is whether we are making the most of those ideas - using every one that's relevant to us.

Let's be realistic. Achieving goals is hard, unless the goals are so easy they're just a 'to do' list. Most people give up within a few weeks. People whose goal is to change entrenched behaviours, such as smoking, usually need several attempts.

We improve our chances if we see achieving goals as a process, not an exam that we pass or fail. Use the list to stay focused.

 

Interested in a workshop on achieving goals for your team? Contact us This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We'll put you in touch with a trainer, not a salesperson.

 

 

Let's say you are at a meeting, presenting at a conference, or in a job interview. The conventional advice, 'just be yourself' sounds plausible. It's built on the idea that it's vital to be authentic.

But which you are we talking about?

Is it the grumpy you, the frustrated you or that part of you that's resentful because your boss turned down your idea? Clearly not.

We have many versions of us. If we are in front of others we must select the version of us that's most appropriate for the occasion. That's in our interests, but it's also in the interests of our colleagues at the meeting, our audience at the presentation or the job recruiters.

Is presenting our best selves less than authentic?

Only if it's false.

Is it an act? In a sense, because it's only a selection from the various versions of us. But it's still us.

 And there's something else.

We can use the act to practise cultivating the professional us. We can use it as a benchmark, so we can remind ourselves of the professionalism we showed at the meeting, the conference and the interview and strive to keep being that best version of us.

Just being ourselves has a big downside.

Like the person who throws out tactless personal criticism and says, 'I'm just being honest'.

Or the one who won't change other unsociable behaviour, 'because that's just the way I am'.

Want to be authentic, build rapport with your audience, but still you?

Give away a bit about yourself. Be human. An academic whose work I follow, wrote recently that when he goes through automatic doors he likes to imagine that he is opening them with his mind. 

Silly? A bit child-like? Fair enough.

Do you like him more? I do.

 

Interested in a workshop on emotional Intelligence for your team? (It's about thriving at work)

What about a workshop on employee engagement? (For your leaders or for your teams)

 

About Ralph Brown

ralph brown blog3

Ralph is our founder and managing director. He has a background in psychology, television journalism and business.

Ralph's passions are psychology and writing. He leads workshops on both and speaks to conferences on the psychology of thriving at work.

In 2011  Professional Speakers Australia awarded him its top speaking accreditation, the CSP.

He has written six books and more than a hundred articles on psychology and writing. International research journals have published his articles reviewing the research on resilience.

Ralph enjoys trips to France. He lives in rural Canterbury.

Interested in training in business writing?

A business writing workshop will give your team far more than just plain English. They’ll be achieving more clarity in less time. Through their emails and letters, they’ll be building cooperative relationships with their colleagues, customers and community.

Learn more

Interested in training to develop your teams’ resilience?

Discover what top achievers do when the going gets tough.

Learn more