“Be a better communicator’ isn’t a practical goal. Consider all the different types of communication you engage in throughout your day. Verbal conversations, emails to your team, questions you ask in meetings and everything in between.
People who create goals that are both specific and challenging achieve higher performance 90% of the time. SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely) is an effective acronym that provides the clarity, direction and motivation you need to achieve your goals. Here are a few examples of communication goals to inspire you.
- I Want to Have the Confidence to Speak at a Public Event
- I Want to Inspire and Motivate My Team
For more information on SMART goals, here’s a breakdown of the acronym so you can utilise it in your own strategy.
Specific – One way to make sure your goal isn’t too vague is to apply who, what, where, when and why to it. If your goal can’t define these five W’s clearly, you’ll need to clarify it further.
Measurable – Whether for personal satisfaction or to keep you motivated, goals should have some form of metric. Measurability is also key to gauging progress and keeping track as you work towards a goal.
Attainable – The idea isn’t to set an easy goal, it’s to set a realistic one. How much time can you realistically dedicate towards achieving this goal?
Relevant – A relevant goal is one that resonates with an organisation’s broader business goals and most importantly, the bottom line.
Timely – Find a duration that allows enough time for the goal to be completed but isn’t so far away that it gets lost in your to-do list. This holds everybody involved accountable.
Each letter highlights a different aspect of your desired outcome, helping you create more effective personal goals in the workplace.
I Want to Have the Confidence to Speak at a Public Event
Public speaking is considered the number one fear but just like any other skill, it can be developed. What is it specifically that you want to improve on that will make you a better public speaker?
Whether it’s better eye contact with the audience or a reduction of the amount of filler words in your presentation – once you identify what will make you a more effective speaker, you can create a goal that helps you achieve that.
Here’s an example of a SMART goal you can create to become better prepared for public speaking.
SMART goal example: I would like to improve my eye contact with the audience by not relying on the slides. I want to practice my speech five times before the deadline of *speech date* so I can memorise it and be more engaged.
S – Be a more engaging public speaker by making eye contact with a member of the audience.
M – In the run-up to the event, you can set yourself a goal of how many times you’re going to practise your speech to be more confident and less reliant on slideshows when you deliver it.
A – Everybody can get better at public speaking, so this is definitely an attainable goal. Anybody can improve their public speaking skill with practice and preparation. How will you make time to ensure you accomplish your goal?
R – Is becoming a better public speaker going to help you in other areas of the organisation too? It can help you communicate more proficiently with the wider team and help articulate your points more.
T – If there’s an event coming up you’re going to talk at, that’s a clear deadline for when you need to have completed this goal.
I Want to Inspire and Motivate My Team
A motivated team is much more likely to achieve their true potential. On top of that, organisations with a highly engaged workforce are 21% more profitable.
Although you can’t directly motivate somebody, you can encourage the process by implementing tailored goals with that in mind. Here’s an example of a SMART goal you might implement to achieve a more motivated workforce.
SMART goal example: I want to introduce a recognition programme to motivate the team by 15% by the end of Q3, measured with quarterly NPS surveys.
S – Introduce an employee recognition scheme with incentives that motivate the team to achieve their goals.
M – How will you know you’ve motivated the team? E.g. 15% improvement in team sentiment between Q1 and Q3 using a Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey.
A – Encourage a culture of feedback and collaboration using a quick and easy recognition system. This could be through a tool or a simple whiteboard on the wall of the office.
R – Motivated team members will be more productive and more willing to share useful feedback going forward, making the team more efficient overall.
T – A timeframe of improvement within the six months between the start of Q1 and the end of Q3.
Good communication requires time and effort to accomplish. Making your goals SMART ensures that you know what you want to achieve and when you want to achieve it. This can make you more focused on your goal when it comes to better communication. It also gives you a guide to get there and a way to measure your progress along the way.
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