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Smart Schools set Smart Goals

Elsewhere in this journal is the article ‘Your Psychology — Your Leadership’ by Dr L. Michael Hall one of the international speakers at the upcoming Combined Queensland Principals Associations State Conference.
Dr Hall asserts in that article that, ‘we need leaders who help all of us grow, learn, think and become more of what we can become’.

The invitation in his article is for you as a school leader to lead people in a way where you don’t rule over them but with them and through them so that together you all can do and be so much more than apart.

Smart leaders work with their people to set communal goals which everyone pursues with a passion because they collectively own the goals.

That’s smart is it not?

At the humanistic level it’s smart to value people and treat them with respect because that’s what we all deserve and it’s the ‘decent’ thing.

Importantly it’s even smarter at the results level.

Groups that have a clear communal outcome, are enrolled emotionally and are striving for continuous improvement cannot help become better at what they do.

So what’s a smart way for you to lead in this way?

The steps of the Well Formed Outcome Conversation which follow is a strategy you are invited to explore.

1. State the goal in positive terms.

Describe the present situation and compare it with the desired future goal.

  • Where are we now?
  • Where do we want to be?
  • What do we want?
  • State it in the positive (what do we want to achieve?).
  • What are we going toward?

2. Specify the goal in sensory based terms.

  • What will we see, hear, feel, etc., when we have it?
  • What steps or stages are involved in reaching this goal?
  • Engage all of our senses in this description process to employ more of our brain and nervous system.
  • Have we broken down our goal into small enough chunks so that each is do-able?
  • What are the sizes of the behavioural chunks? Could the size possibly overwhelm us?

3. Specify the goal in a way that we find compelling.

  • Is the goal compelling?
  • Does it pull on us?

Make it a compelling future representation. (When we see your goal, make sure we see ourselves having obtained our goal.)

4. Run a quality control check on our goal to make sure it is for us in all areas of our lives.

  • Is the desired goal right for us in all circumstances of our lives?
  • Is our goal appropriate in all of our personal relationships?
  • What will having our goal give us that we do not now have?
  • What will having our goal cause us to lose?
  • Is our goal achievable?
  • Does it respect our health, relationships, etc?

Run a quality check to make sure that our goal fits every part. Ask, ‘Are there any parts of me that objects to actualising this desired goal? ’ If so, address those unconscious frames of mind.

Pay attention to how each of our whole selves responds to the question in terms of images, sounds, words, and sensations within us.

5. Self-initiated and maintained.

  • Is the goal something that we can initiate and maintain?
  • Test our goal by asking if it is something that we have within your power or ability to do.
  • Is it within our control?

Our goal must be something that we can initiate and maintain. It must not be something dependent on other people. Make sure that our goal reflects things that we can directly affect.

Is it self initiated and maintained?

6. State the context of the goal.

  • Where, when, how, with whom, etc. will we get this goal?
  • Is the goal appropriately contextualised?

Test our goal by applying it to a context: when, where, with who, etc. to make sure that it is going to be fitting and appropriate. Readjust our goal to make sure that it fits.

7. State the resources needed to achieve the goal.

  • What resources will we need in order to get this goal?
  • Who will we have to become?
  • Who else has achieved this goal?
  • Have any of us ever had or done this before?
  • Do we know anyone who has?
  • What prevents us from moving toward it and attaining it now?

8. Evidence procedure.

  • How will we know that our goal has been realised?
  • What will let us know that we have attained that desired state?

For more information on this and other coaching strategies search: Meta-Coaching Foundation, and International Society of Neurosemantics.

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