According to leadership experts, helping your team members articulate their goals is an effective way to build motivation and trust in your organization because it helps your team members feel seen and heard.
However, a lot of leaders don’t take the time or effort to do this. Perhaps it’s an oversight, perhaps they feel it will take away from the organization’s goals, or perhaps they just don’t know how.
If you are interested in helping your team members feel seen and heard, help them articulate their goals. Schedule a team meeting or a series of one-on-ones to create a space for active listening. If your team members need a framework to get started, here is a framework inspired by Zig Ziglar – goals, benefits, obstacles, and people:
GOALS. Ask your team members to state their goals. Goals should be stated within the context of the project, the organization, or mission of the organization. Why are you working on this project? If it’s just for the paycheck, be honest about that. But if it’s to further a professional or personal goal, then say it loud. This is a great thing for all members of the team to know
BENEFITS. As a leader, ask your team members what benefits will be achieved by striving for and reaching their goals. If you feel like you need to explore alignment between team member goals and the organization, ask your team members to do that exploration and to connect those dots
OBSTACLES. Ask your team members to articulate what’s in their way. This is sometimes a hard conversation, but believe me, you want to know
PEOPLE. Ask your team members who they need buy-in from so that they have advocates for, and not obstacles to, reaching their goals.
If you take the time at the beginning of each project to check in with your team about their goals, then you will help them feel seen and heard, you will build motivation and trust among your team, and you will help individuals and your organization flourish.