People only really commit to pursuing a goal when they can see a significant benefit of their personal investment. The type of investment a person makes will be contextual but, generally, committing to a goal requires a perceived benefit that is valued at twice that of any perceived cost.
This benefit to cost analysis, however, is not limited to the individual. Research suggests that people are more committed to achieving a goal when the benefits extend beyond themselves to the benefit of others.
Goals set as part of a team, for example, generally promote higher levels of goal commitment, compared with goals set independently by an individual. When people share a common purpose, the potential arises for them to set a common goal. This process creates a bond that promotes camaraderie, collaboration and builds collective capability that empowers goal attainment: the whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts.
But because we rarely aspire to achieve another person’s goal, goals should be developed in a way that recognises the purpose of the team and the potential contribution of each individual. As such, a team may have a collective goal and each person in the team may have individual goals which align with and contribute to achieving the team’s goal. Consequently, members of the team are accountable to their colleagues in working towards goal attainment, as well as to themselves. This level of accountability increases levels of motivation and goal commitment.
This theory can be applied to any situation in which people are engaged to achieve a collective purpose. To be most effective, the collective purpose should be clear, consistent and compelling.
Alignment through coaching
In an organisation, the collective purpose should be demonstrable across the organisation and in every aspect of its work. The organisation’s achievements should also be measured in terms of the attainment of goals that demonstrate its purpose, with fidelity and integrity.
Of course, none of this happens by chance. It requires insightful and principled leadership; leadership that can facilitate the alignment of the organisation’s goals and imperatives with the goals and aspirations of the people committed to achieving the organisation’s purpose.
This process of alignment can be achieved through coaching:
- What is the purpose of your work?
- What are your goals and aspirations?
- How do they reflect the organisation's purpose and goals?
- What would you notice if you were demonstrating progress towards achieving your goals?
- What benefits would be evident for you and the organisation?
- What capabilities would you need to demonstrate to achieve your goals?
- What support can the organisation provide to further build your capabilities?
It’s all about building individual and collective capability through the alignment of purpose, goals and aspirations: the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
MyPLgoals empowers educators to attain high quality performance development goals aligned with ATSIL professional standards, whilst further enabling teacher collaboration through coaching and mentoring.
MyPLgoals also effortlessly produces performance development plans (PDPs) and accreditation reports, saving hours of work for teachers.