My gym routine starts and ends with stretches; they ensure a safe and effective work-out, keeping me energised and fit. Positive stretch goals do the same for us in the workplace.
Stretch goals can push you beyond where you are so that you feel positively challenged. The positive point of stretch is where you move from the zone of comfort to your zone of stretch and peak performance.
Pick up a rubber band and stretch it between 2 fingers until it is straight but not tight – the point of positive stretch. Now stretch it further – tight, taut, it breaks – negative stretch, the zone of burnout.
Positive stretch goals take you, your team and your organisation to the zone of positive stretch and peak performance.
Why? You can probably think of many reasons, here are 3:
- keeps you and others highly motivated;
- it encourages innovation and achievement;
- it delivers outstanding results.
How? Share strengths and create an appreciation of what motivates yourself and other team members. Encourage reflection on strengths and skills that have contributed to previous achievements and past peak performance.
Through discussion, agree stretch goals and the on-going support to achieve the desired outcomes. Support is a key element of keeping goals positive and contributing to team and personal development.
When? An appraisal discussion is often a good starting point. However, all year there will be new and unexpected challenges and opportunities that can be achieved by engaging individuals and teams in framing goals. Stretch goals for new starters may seem illogical; however, set appropriately through discussion and with relevant support, possibly with a buddy, they can really ensure that the new person settles in and quickly becomes a highly effective, valued and dedicated team member.
And then? Support, review/ reflect, identify and share learning and CELEBRATE.
Mary & John