Errors Made In Goal Setting

Some years ago, Robert Schaffer identified these “seven deadly sins” of goal-setting made by managers in giving assignments:

  1. Backing away from tough expectations: You spend more time negotiating the goal downward than in figuring out how to achieve it.
  2. Engaging in charades: You and your people know from the beginning that the goal is just an exercise to convey the appearance of progress, but there’s no hope of achieving it.
  3. Accepting seesaw trades: When your people take on one goal, they are relieved of another one.
  4. Setting vague or distant goals: The time frame is not explicitly defined or set too far into the future, so no one takes it seriously.
  5. Not establishing consequences: You don’t really differentiate between those who successfully achieve goals and those who do not.
  6. Setting too many goals: By assigning an overabundance of objectives you allow subordinates to pick and choose the goals that they either want to do or find easiest to do — but not necessarily the ones that are most important.
  7. Allowing deflection to preparations, studies, and research: You allow people to spend time planning instead of committing to a real goal.

The above is an excerpt from Seven Mistakes Leaders Make in Setting Goals, Ron Ashkenas, Contributor,, 7/09/2012

Over at Personal Development of Suite 101, you can read:
6 Critical Goal Setting Mistakes

And, over at Mind Tools, you can read:
Eight Common Goal Setting Mistakes

Listen to this:

About Roland Louis Hansen

I have been: an organization development consultant; a college-level instructor of political science, psychology, and sociology; a public administrator; a social worker; an elected official; a political operative; a community activist; a union official; a shoe salesman and manager, a factory worker; a fast food restaurant employee; and, a custodian.
This entry was posted in Business, Industrial/Organizational Psychology, Management, Organization Development, Psychology. Bookmark the permalink.

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