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4 Simple Steps To Effective Objective Setting

It’s the new year and an important time to set powerful objectives for your teams and your business. In our work with clients, we have found there to be 4 simple, yet important steps in creating effective objectives: 1) Set clear goals 2) Define specific deadlines 3) Establish bottom-line measurability and 4) Create progression tracking.

Let’s first take a look at setting clear goals. Setting clear goals is important to objectives because they ensure we (and our teams) are aligned for the trajectory we intend. Without clear goals, we can end up creating unintended conflict or oversights in what is needed to create the success we want most. 

The second step in effective objective setting is defining specific deadlines. Defining specific deadlines ensures we don’t get amnesia in remembering to achieve our objective. There is nothing more un-fulfilling to get to the end of your fiscal year only to realize you lost sight of the objectives you had originally set. Setting both full objective deadlines and mini-deadlines along the way help you stay on course throughout the year.

The third step is in establishing bottom-line measurability. In other words, what quantifiable or qualifiable impact will the objective have on your organization’s bottom-line performance? And why is that impact important?  Understanding the measurability of your Objective will provide motivation and benefit in moving towards your objective. 

And the fourth step in effective objective setting is creating a way to track the progression of your objective. Tracking your progression will allow you to identify if you are 10%… 40% … 70% complete with your objective and give you an opportunity to speed up, slow down or course correct as needed.

As a trusted partner, Sloan Group International supports our clients in objective setting in a variety of ways. Most recently, we launched a new online platform called Coaching Manager that now allows clients to effectively define goals, set deadlines, create measurability and track the progression towards those goals for all their coaching engagements. This platform can also provide clients both individual and aggregate perspective across these four objective setting components, which assists in the development of more strategic and effective executive coaching approaches. To learn more about Coaching Manger and other ways SGI can support you in being effective with your objective setting, simply contact your SGI Senior Consultant or reach us directly at +1 (312) 242-1801 or

written by SGI Vice President of Client Experience, Mark Darren Gregor