Aaron Carlson is a leadership coach whose focus is working with emerging leaders to get clear on their vision, communicate more effectively, and lead high performing teams. Aaron uses Solution-Focused tools and NLP techniques learned in the Art and Science of Coaching program at Erickson Coaching International to support his clients to spotlight their talents. Aaron is working towards his Erickson Certified Professional Coach (ECPC) and Accredited Coach Certification (ACC).
Be SMARRT Developing Your Leadership Competencies
It’s important for emerging leaders to develop firm competencies in holding a strategic perspective, leading employees and taking initiative. One of the values of a coaching conversation is developing a clear sense of direction on a specific outcome and bringing an alignment of this outcome to the values of yourself and your workplace. During the coaching conversation, this begins immediately as we contract for a specific outcome you would like to achieve by the end of the session by setting a SMARRT goal. I’d like to invite you to consider how SMARRT goals can support your leadership development.
Specific goals allow you to get your hands around abstract or conceptual outcomes and bring them into a more tangible and concrete manner that enables you to effectively communicate your vision to higher management and those you lead. The more specific and clear you are on goals, the easier time you will have inspiring your staff and communicating the tasks ahead.
Measurable goals give you an opportunity to define what success will look like. When you clearly communicate to management what you hope to achieve and the impact it will have on the business, you can obtain buy-in. When you are able to articulate what success looks like for the folks you lead you can begin to co-create their vision and clarify roles. You’ll also have an easier time holding them accountable.
Achievable goals strengthen your strategic perspective by evaluating your current business environment and sets you up for developing solutions to overcome any obstacles. Coaching around this portion of the outcome frame will evaluate whether you have the resources you need right now and how you might obtain them. Derailments can easily be tackled by ensuring your goals are achievable.
Realistic goals ensure that the outcome you desire is within your control. Ensuring that goals are realistic enhances your ability to evaluate internal and external influences on the business environment, enhancing your leadership competency of strategic perspective. However, this is also a great space to showcase collaboration as well. Perhaps you may need to consider collaboration opportunities and explore alliances outside of your department to make it happen.
Relevant goals demonstrate that you have set an ecological goal that fits within the strategic plan for your workplace. Upper management will appreciate when your goals are relevant and in alignment with the overall strategy. This is also a great check-in to see who else will be impacted by this goal, and how will they be impacted?
Timely goals support you in holding you and your team accountable for achieving the outcome within a specified time. Placing a time supports you and your team in prioritizing and designing action steps for your project plan.
Working with SMARRT goals with a coach will support you in developing the presence of holding a strategic perspective where you are able to understand the viewpoints of upper management and analyzing complex issues. SMARRT goals assist you in leading employees by specifically articulating a vision, establishing accountability standards, and ensuring that you are appropriately resourced. Finally, SMARRT goals will ensure that you develop a capacity for taking initiative by thoughtfully thinking through your desired outcome in a SMARRT way that will support you in achieving success and following through on leading a project from start to finish.
Powerful coaching conversations facilitate outcomes through this SMARRT framework, and I invite you to consider the benefits of coaching. My gift to those of you who are looking for a self-coaching SMARRT framework, are invited to download this worksheet.