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Four techniques for successful goal defining

Choose the right goal defining technique to ensure success


Four techniques for successful goal defining


Goals give focus to what needs to be achieved. On a personal level this could be your dreams, passions or desires. From an organisational viewpoint this will the vision, objectives, targets and key performance indicators.

Successful goal defining includes making sure that the best technique is used. At Go MAD Thinking we use four different types of goal defining techniques:


  • Umbrella

  • Qualitative

  • Visionary

SMART goals are used for things that can be measured in time, quantity or cost. When there is a specific task with a deadline to be achieved. This is one of the most commonly referred to goal defining techniques. However, we've discovered it isn’t necessarily common practice.


Get your free SMART Goal template


Umbrella goals help chunk down an aim or an aspiration into a number of smaller goals. They can also be used to capture the components of a larger goal. Over the years we’ve developed and expanded the versatility of this technique by helping our clients to plan projects or manage change implementation.


Listen to this podcast about umbrella goals


Qualitative goal defining is for those things that are harder to measure. This includes, improving relationships, increasing team morale and feelings such as, being happy or feeling more confident. It gives you a process to create a measurable goal. Since we developed this technique, we’ve had feedback about how helpful it is to have an alternative to SMART for performance goals.


Watch this space for a template to guide you through the steps. In the meantime, listen to this podcast to find out more.


Visionary goals are best used to, give fine detail to SMART goals, make an aim specific, increase the strength of reason why by engaging the imagination and emotions and to engage others in change. They enable you to drill down to the detail of future success. This technique is also called sensory specific goal defining, as the senses are engaged to build the picture of the goal. Although, the end goal is in the future, it’s described in the present tense. You can use this technique with others to help them define goals. Or you can use it for yourself. It’s about getting a clear vision of the goal and what it’s like to have achieved that goal.


Listen to this podcast to explore how to best use this goal defining technique.


The four techniques give you more choice, so you can define a goal about everything and anything. Having something clear to aim at will greatly increase the likelihood of improvements in performance and productivity.


Take some time to review your personal and work goals. Which might benefit from being redefined with a different technique?



Discover more about how we could help your organisation significantly enhance goal defining skills.

Or get in touch to have a conversation.

Request our free e-Book all about goal defining, 'How to determine what you want and when you want it'.



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