The four c’s of team goal setting
Goals are a great way to improve team performance. Clear goals with measurable standards must be developed and agreed upon with the team. One simple way to help determine what team goals should be is to utilize the four C's of goal setting. The C's stand for goal clarity, measurable criteria, worthwhile challenge, and team commitment.
Clarity in a team goal means it is easily understood by all members involved. The definition of the goal is specific enough that there is no misunderstanding about what is to be accomplished and the team fully understands what is expected of them. With a clear goal, those working towards achieving it will know what they need to do or learn in order to meet their target objective. Clarification assures the team understands why the goal is a worthwhile and relevant one for them to work towards.
Criteria spelled out in a goal are the performance measures that must be reached in order for the team to know they have hit their target. The criterion is a unit of measure in quantity or percentage to be accomplished during a specified timeframe and agreed to by the team. Having this criterion provides regular feedback for the team along the course of the goal so they can make adjustments to their work and behaviours. Without this information, it is hard for the team to understand their reward and recognition structure, develop their work plan, and ask for adjustments or help with barriers when necessary.
Challenge within the goal is a way to give the team the opportunity to stretch their skills and show what they can do. A meaningful goal should not just maintain the status quo or accomplish a little more. Instead it should motivate the team to stretch themselves without breaking down their spirits or greatly interfering with their quality procedures or necessary routine tasks. A goal that is too small or too large can be more damaging than it is challenging or motivating.
Commitment is the team agreeing to the responsibility and accountability of reaching the goal. The best way to get team commitment is for the team to participate in the goal setting process. The team must understand how their goal fits with the organization's visions, mission, and objectives. For the team to commit to any goal, they must be involved in the decision making process and receive the appropriate information or training to know what they can accomplish and why it is important.
Utilize the C's for building team goal clarity, assigning measurable criteria, giving a worthwhile challenge, and getting full team commitment. The four C's are an easy method of determining what team goals should be. Clear team goals with agreed to measurements are one of the best ways to improve team performance.
Shirley Fine Lee is the author of books RARA A Meeting Wizard's Approach and TAPP Steps in Time Management, as well as many other training guides on a wide variety of topics. She has extensive experience helping organizations with their team building, training development, meeting facilitation, presentation delivery, and other communication needs. Find out more and the options she provides at www.shirleyfinelee.com