Thursday, 9 May 2013

Turning Goals into Results


Kai Rambow

Plenty of people set goals and then experience the frustration of not being able to turn them into accomplishments. In a recent goal setting and achievement program one participant, Barbara, asked, "How do I turn my goal of networking more in my organization into reality?" "Great question," I responded, "let's work with your goal."

It's Starts When You Define

Doing more networking isn't enough for a goal; it needs to be more clearly defined. Even noting that you want to focus specifically on networking within your own company isn't enough.

This process to clarify your goal can be challenging. Remember, the more specific you are in defining your goal, the better. Why? Because you'll have a very clear idea of what you're aiming for and how to reach your goal.

Same Goal - Different Outcome

As I asked Barbara some clarifying questions, Anne chimed in that she too wanted to network more. It sounded as if they both had the same goal, however, each had entirely different outcomes in mind.

Anne wanted to meet new people more senior in position to her to learn what she would need to do to advance her career in the organization. Barbara wanted to meet new people in different areas so she could more easily get help for her projects, which involved several departments.

Same Goal - Different Challenges

Anne, not surprisingly, was quite comfortable reaching out to people she didn't know and asking for their advice. Barbara, who has an engaging personality, was shy about approaching new people.

Even though Anne was comfortable meeting strangers, she still needed a solid plan. We set as part of her plan to try and network with people who were not only senior to her, but had great reputations within the organization. Talking with everyone without knowing why you were approaching them doesn't make sense. Anne needed to keep her outcome in mind.

Barbara, because of her reluctance, needed a different plan. We set a plan for her to network through others. Since Barbara was well liked, asking others to help make the connections was one approach to take. Asking for and looking for the most helpful people in a department is what made more sense for her objective.

The Challenge

Even clarifying to this point is not enough. Anne and Barbara needed to determine how many people they wanted to connect with. Would it be one new person per month or one new person every two months?

Did they want to meet over coffee or lunch? What questions did they want to ask? Best to prepare in advance to achieve their respective goals.

Connecting with one new person every two months is realistic and achievable. Meeting for 20 to 45 minutes with specific questions in mind makes it productive. Now Barbara and Anne have a practical approach to turn their goals into results.

The Smartest Goal Technique

Of course, the smartest thing that Barbara did was ask. For most of us, our goals require getting help from others. Remember, if we don't ask for help, we won't get any help.

About the Author

Kai Rambow, Accredited Speaker, is a leading authority on communication, management and leadership. He has delivered over 2,400 programs for clients across North and South America, Europe and Australia. You can learn more by contacting him through his web site at


  1. Hello Graham,
    I've communicated w/ you by email before. This is a good article; I too have failed to be specific enough in the past.

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