Goals and feedback are two key ingredients for breakthrough personal development. When leaders want to develop personally or professionally, they set goals. All of us have implicit goals that drive our behavior, but consciously and deliberately set goals are essential for meaningful performance and development. The extent to which leaders articulate goals and think about the specific steps needed to achieve them determines how successful they will be in their endeavors. Executive coaches can accelerate this process, helping leaders identify goals and develop plans of action to reach them.
And what are goals without feedback? According to classic Control Theory, feedback tells us the “distance” between where we are and where we want to be, the distance between our current state and our desired state. In other words, feedback is fundamental to tracking goal progress. Frequently clients who are in top-level leadership roles live in a “feedback vacuum,” where subordinates and peers are hesitant to provide honest, critical feedback. Evaluating goal progress can be challenging in the absence of constructive feedback.
Technological advancements can be leveraged to help guide and streamline goal-setting and feedback processes. For example, CoachLogix enables both goal setting and feedback ratings, providing coaches with the tools they need to enable significant personal and professional development with their clients. This allows coaches and their clients to track the goals and competencies they are focusing on throughout the courses of the coaching engagement. CoachLogix also allows leaders to share their goals with key stakeholders, such as managers, colleagues, direct reports, and HR business partners. Clients and stakeholders can rate progress on goals, resulting in a measure of alignment. And reports can be generated reflecting all competencies leaders are working on within the organization.
This is meaningful for several reasons. First, the act of goal-setting creates an opportunity for a deep, meaningful conversation between coach and client about what the client really desires and is working toward. The coach plays a vital role in helping leaders set clear goals that are specific, achievable, and have personal significance. Milestones can be added along the way, and sharing goals with leaders and stakeholders increases accountability and transparency.
When goals are tied to competencies, reports can be generated and shared with enterprise leaders. This allows talent management departments to gain a better understanding of what leaders are working on and where their investment is going, without compromising confidentiality by disclosing specific details of goals. Reports reflecting general competencies convey an overarching snapshot of what leaders value and can inform changes in organizational direction or corporate culture that are desired or needed.
In this way, technology can be leveraged to track goal progress, thus providing a metric for gauging growth, behavior change, and impact of coaching programs. If you think other coaches and enterprises might benefit from implementing technology to track and interpret the impact of their coaching engagements, please share this article with them.