The primary reason for team goals and objectives, especially in sales, is to help resolve an identified or anticipated obstacle to productivity. In order to be effective, goals and objectives must be measurable and have timelines. When teams can measure their progress towards adopted goals, it encourages longer buy-in and heightened morale.
Be Brutally Honest About the Present Reality
In order to move past any obstacle, leaders must help their teams truthfully address and identify the weaknesses within that are limiting progress and productivity. Upfront, the facilitator would be wise to set some ground rules, such as speaking with respect and active listening. Remind the team that this will be difficult, but without knowing what is impeding sales gains, setting attainable goals is extremely difficult, if not impossible. Encourage the team to remember that failing to recognize the reality of challenges will cause your entire decision-making process to collapse.
Within this stage of the process, the team must also acknowledge what strengths can be leveraged that will make progress more effective. Reminding the team, periodically throughout the exercise, that their strengths are valued, as a team and individually, will help smooth any conflicts that arise.
Be Wildly Ambitious About a Possible Future
It is important not to lose engagement at this point because this is where breakthroughs can occur. The moment an obstacle and solution have been identified is the time for leadership to assist the team in seizing that opportunity to start thinking about a creative, yet attainable, goal. Team leaders need to remind their teams at this stage that staying collaborative and engaged is going to be critical to goal setting. Wild ideas are going to be hatched and that is to be encouraged.
As energizing as this stage of team goal setting can be, sorting through what is truly possible (doable) and what isn’t, can be tedious and deflating. It is very important to maintain high energy, active communication, and purposeful encouragement. This period, especially for sales teams, is where big goals are structured and the objectives to attain them are outlined. The key to success in this part of team building is balancing encouragement around novel thinking, minimizing conflict, and producing a workable plan of action. Facilitated well, the product resulted here can be implemented immediately, thereby capitalizing the feeling of team unity. Wild ideas can create amazing outcomes.
Keep the Momentum Alive
For leadership, now truly comes the most difficult aspect of setting goals and managing the objectives to achieve them. After the excitement of team building, when morale and collaboration are running high, teams often lose sight of the actual work to be done. When teams are back to their routine activities, it can be challenging for team members to remain individually excited, usually because results are not recognized overnight. How can you keep the motivation alive while doing the day-to-day work?
The best way for teams to maintain energy and motivation is to teach them how to reignite their own excitement. During the hyper-motivated phase of wild brainstorming, take the time to have the team reflect on how engaged they feel in that moment. Teach them the tools at that point to recognize the slump in team energy and how to move themselves past that plateau.
When leaders have taught teams how to motivate and re-engage themselves, they are much more likely to reach leadership expectations around goals and set even higher targets for the future.
Leadership isn’t always a trait that can be instantly developed. It takes time and practice. Here are tips and tricks for how you can learn to cultivate leadership in your team.