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Goal Setting (4Ds)

Many people advocate setting goals but very few actually know what to do or how to do it effectively. They typically set goals that are far too big and, when they don't achieve them quickly enough, their motivation falters and action dwindles. Another reason why people often fail to reach the goals they set is that they don't set the right goals in the first place!

The 4D approach is based on the principle that the goal is simply what you should be aiming for while the outcome is what you actually want to achieve as a result of your actions.

4D goal setting.png

D1 - Direction

Set the direction for the goal and turn it into an outcome. Most goal setting models encourage leaders to write in positive present tense to represent the equivalent of having already achieved the goal. This process helps someone to identify where they are now, where they want to be in the future and reinforces the fact that there is a gap between their current reality and the outcome they desire. The D1 stage encourages a leader to identify why they set the goal in the first place  which direction they need to move in to achieve the outcome they desire.

D2 - Distance

Set the distance to be travelled and identify the blockage points. Too often, setting a goal is limiting in itself and this needs to be extended to identify and support achievement of the final outcome. The D2 stage takes into account the distance the leader will need to travel to achieve but also encourages them to identify any blockage points or obstacles that they may need to be overcome.

D3 - Drive

Create a propulsion strategy to drive internal motivation. It is useful to create a propulsion strategy that builds motivation, direction and drive. The drive to achieve a goal or outcome is associated with the speed of movement in the actions that are taken and is based on the strength of a person's internal motivation. Internal motivation links to Personal Power (Identity). The D3 stage helps a leader to explore moving towards something that attracts them balanced against moving away from something that is a fear factor. 

D4 - Delivery

Identify and (if necessary) adapt the method of delivery (actions) to achieve the outcome. Think of this as the mode of transport that the person will use to make their journey – how will they get there? The D4 stage encourages a leader to think of their goal and subsequent outcome in three-dimensions and unpicks the use of movement metaphors in their language as they describe it.

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