Team Leadership Guide

Home / Definition of a Team  / Stages of Team Development  / vision / valuesnormsexpectations

collaborate /trust / effective meetings / decision making / manage conflict / solve problems set common goals /

plan effectively /  share information / bridge to the organization / communicate clearly / coach / train / feedback

motivate / manage change / team performance


  Goal Setting

Team goals are broad statements that drive teams to desired ends.  If goals are clear and doable, they not only serve as a teamís blueprint, they also serve as its lifeblood: They help teams set standards for improvement, they focus energy, they measure progress, and they connect the team to the organizationís needs, strategies, and purposes.

Carefully conceived goals are SMART:

S:  Is the goal specific enough?

M:  Can it be measured?

A:  Is it achievable?

R:  Does it seem realistic?

T:  Is it timely? 

Goals: What the Research Says

Researchers frequently make the following observations about goals and goal setting.

  • Specific goals increase performance, and difficult goals, when accepted, result in higher performance than easy goals.

  • Goals must not be used as "clubs."

  • Goals must be flexible so they can change with changing circumstances.

  • Goals should be established collaboratively.

  • Goals must be consistent with the values and mission of the organization.

  • Goals must be achievable within limits of resources and time restraints.

  • Goals must play to the strengths of those who must achieve them.

  • Goals must have both a personal and organizational payoff.

  • Goals will not be attained unless all parties have a commitment to the goals.

  • Goals must support established strategic action plans, both personal and organizational.

  • Supervisors must regularly and frequently revisit and discuss goal progress.

  • There should be rewards for goal achievement.

  • Goals should be developed from data.

  • Regular feedback must be provided concerning goal work.

  • Goals must not have hidden agendas.

  • The best goals, when achieved, breed more success.

  • Goals should challenge, but not threaten.

  • One goal must not contradict another goal.

  • Unrealistic, nonspecific, or imposed goals can be counterproductive, demoralizing, and even hostility producing.