How to Set Soft Goals and Measure Soft Results
Achieving results is a walk in the park compared to navigating the fuzzy side of leadership. Measuring success is even more difficult.
The soft stuff:
- Building relationships.
- Managing energy.
- Staying curious.
Technical skills become less valuable and relational skills become more valuable the longer you lead.
Overcoming feelings of hypocrisy:
It feels insincere to measure the relational aspect of leadership. For example, setting a goal to have a two minute conversation with three employees may seem fake or manipulative.
Intention and motivation answer concerns about setting goals around the soft side of leadership.
- Be transparent with intention. ‘I’m working to be a better connector.’
- Reflect on motivation. Perhaps mutual enrichment is enough motivation to elevate you above feeling like a hypocrite because you set a goal of three personal conversations a day.
- Accept, even express frailties. ‘I’m just not good at showing appreciation. I’m working on it this month. I feel appreciative. It’s just hard to express.’
Transparency answers feelings of hypocrisy when learning new behaviors.
- Ask two questions before making any statements.
- Go on a gratitude walkabout three times a week.
- Learn what motivates the people on your team – one person a day.
- Monitor energy in individuals. Inquire when you see energy dip or rise. ‘What just happened for you?’
Measuring the soft stuff:
It feels awkward to measure the relationship side of leadership. Maybe you feel like a hypocrite to set a goal of building a new relationship this month. Add the aspect that relationships are two sided affairs and it becomes even more difficult.
When it comes to the soft stuff:
- Measure behaviors. ‘I’m giving one personal affirmation every day.’
- Explore impact. Are people more or less energized when you’re around, for example?
- Enjoy results.
What is some of the soft stuff of leadership?
How might leaders set goals and measure progress when it comes to the soft stuff?
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