As the world becomes more advanced with technology and more and more jobs become available – it may feel like you have more weight on your shoulders to achieve something.
Whether this is your career or personal life, a lift in productivity and becoming a better version of yourself should always be the number one priority on your list. Task performance has many different structures as people will relish in different formats.
In today’s blog, we will be walking you through Edwin Locke’s goal-setting theory and how you can leverage/ increase the success rate of what you want to accomplish. Carry on reading to learn more!
Who is Edwin Locke?
Edwin Locke, most famous for co-developing the goal-setting theory, was first an American psychologist. Along with his passion for psychology, he also became a professor of motivation and leadership at many different universities around the US.
His undivided attention went towards tactics of motivation, job satisfaction and many other self-development topics that will increase quality of life.
With countless articles, journals, etc – it was clear to see that his studying of maximum productivity through psychology never began to fade.
Gaining the knowledge to obtain higher performance in multiple psychological situations (romance, setting clear goals, behaviour and many more) was his motivation when it came to writing his books too.
Nevertheless, he is obviously well-known for his say in the goal-setting theory that was presented by himself and Dr Gary Latham.
Their combined research on effective goal-setting has now become one of the most important management theories for motivation that have ever been created within the Industrial-Organisational niche.
Not only has he received multiple awards for this genius framework, but people are now beginning to realise how advanced this was in the 1960s.
Applying this today is still extremely useful for work-related and personal goals and still begins to become a revelation – as more and more people find out about it throughout their work/personal lives.
What is Edwin Locke’s Goal Setting Theory?
Now that we know a little bit more about Edwin Locke and his prior knowledge before he created the infamous goal-setting theory – we know how big of an impact he has had on many people’s lives throughout the years.
The number of people that have used this strategy and tools provided by Edwin Locke and Gary Latham over the years has been the starting point for people getting their lives back on track, getting a new business started, employees goal tracking and many other functions.
Nonetheless, what does this goal-setting theory actually entail for subsequent performance? What is Edwin Locke’s goal-setting theory? Let’s take a deeper look at the five principles of goals that make up this strategy for optimum development:
- Clarity – Before you enter any field of work, you must make sure you understand the goal to the tee. Therefore, the first component of ‘What is Edwin Locke’s Goal Setting Theory’ is to have a clear understanding of the challenge in front of you.
- Commitment – If you do not have a passion for the goal you’re trying to achieve, it will never get done. Consequently, when you’re on the search to accomplish your specific goal, you must make sure it is your main priority and is sustainable.
- Challenging – Ensuring that you’re not setting easy goals can be the difference between a quicker and more successful path. Setting challenging goals that are measurable, attainable and realistic, is a given.
- Feedback – Whether this is peer feedback or self-feedback, adjusting to your targets midway through a goal may be required. Seeing where you are now and where you can get to, through feedback, may realign your goals and keep you on track.
- The complexity of each Task – If you’ve realised halfway through that it is too much of a complex goal to reach in the timeframe you’ve set yourself – you must be honest and set a smart goal in place of it to relieve some task complexity (allowing you to hold yourself more accountable).
How Can You Apply His Theory to Your Goals?
Locke and Latham, upon their studying of creating the most compelling goal-setting theory, have ought to allow some freedom and creativity with this method. With practice, learning and action – they believe that using their formula will be useful for anyone.
With positive reinforcement, consistency/dedication to the cause every day and following their principles of goal setting – they believe anything is possible.
Not only will setting effective goals using this user-friendly model be the starting point of your motivation but you now have a purpose to be working towards!
Whether you want to improve your social skills for mastermind groups/networking, career skills, communication skills, etc – the effects of goal setting will make sure that you’re making improvements. As long as your goals meet the criteria above, this will give you the basic structure of where you should start.
Planning Your Next Steps
However, how do you actually meet the goals? Well… nothing ever successful was achieved without a detailed plan of action. As a consequence, creating little goals that will put you in the right direction to achieving the long-term goal is your best bet.
If you are just writing down the main goal with no goals that are going to help you consistently grow along the way, you will lose sight of your goal very easily and become unmotivated.
Little incremental improvements (i.e. building blocks) are what is needed to be put in place for ultimate success. Writing detailed small goals, although it may seem like a lot of effort, is ultimately going to lead to accomplishing your main goal. So… I’d say that is worth doing, don’t you?
Fast forward to the end of the blog, you now know the five principles of the goal-setting theory (clarity, commitment, challenging, feedback and task complexity) and how to unpack each one of them when creating your ‘ultimate achievement goals’.
Breaking these principles down into minor plans for each one of your goals, along with working on traits such as discipline, consistency and effective planning – will lead to the best chance of self or team success.
You should now have a goal in mind that you can adopt this strategy with and work every day on making this become a reality!
Mark is a multi-award winner in business networking and relationship building. He is passionate about coaching and mentoring business owners and professionals through 1-1 & group coaching, team performance workshops and group mastermind sessions.