Business Inspiration: Should We Share Our Goals?
Everyone struggles whilst working towards their goals from time to time. You might be aiming for a big promotion at work, setting up a limited company or looking to achieve sustainable business growth. Whatever you’re going for, it’s always important to stop and consider whether or not you should share this goal with others. There are positives to both sides of the coin, so let’s dive in.
A peer to hold you accountable
The common thinking is that by sharing goals with friends, family or colleagues, you’re gaining a peer that will check up on you and hold you accountable, providing extra motivation in the process. Truthfully, the impact of such a tactic can vary wildly, depending mostly on just who is holding you accountable.
Studies typically show that the ideal peer to share a goal with should be someone with higher status than yourself and who you know fairly well – basically, someone whose opinion you truly value. They should be someone who praises progress rather than the person, as the latter could lead to complacency. So, as long as you choose a peer whose praise you can genuinely value, especially one that you can actively discuss progress with, you’re good to go.
Do you care what others have to say?
If you’re someone who values what others think of you, then sharing a goal is likely to prove motivational because you’re so set against causing disappointment. On the other hand, if you care to the point that you can’t handle criticism, then it might actually be best to keep things quiet.
Then again, if you’re the kind to find fuel in people’s criticism of you, or their expectation of you to fail, then maybe sharing an ambitious goal is exactly what you need to do. Of course, if you’re the type who couldn’t care less about a peer’s expectations, goal sharing is just a waste of time. It really boils down to the type of person you are.
Another issue with goal sharing is the risk that you’ll gain a sense of premature completeness. Let’s say you tell your friend a specific goal, such as becoming a business owner. The issue is that they start seeing you as one right away, even though you’ve done minimal groundwork and haven’t properly started trading. The key is to take pride in what you do whilst remembering where you want to be in six months, a year and five years from now.
An equally troubling downside to goal sharing might be that you start to develop tunnel vision. You’ve told a peer what your intentions are and you’ll stop at nothing to get there, even if it completely impedes your ability to think outside the box. Of course, if you pick the right peer they’d hopefully pick up on this, especially if you’re discussing milestones and the quality of the work you’ve done along the way. Still, it’s something to be careful of, as tunnel vision can prevent you from moving forward at full speed.
Ultimately, it’s on you…
It all comes down to the type of person you are, the kind of peer you choose to share goals with, and how you respond to feedback. As long as you consider these factors, not to mention the risks, you should be able to decide whether or not you share your goals widely and in their entirety.
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