Four Reasons to Set Group Goals Collaboratively

Kevin Eikenberry

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One of the tasks that come with being a leader is setting goals. Goals for ourselves, to be sure, but often we need set goals for our groups/teams or the larger organization. While we may instinctively know that we should include people in the creation of goals they will be working to achieve, too often the press of time and the lure of expediency leaves leaders setting the goals, and simply sharing them with those charged with achieving them.

The Four Reasons

There are four significant reasons why we need to get others involved in creating of the group’s goals. Any one of these are reason enough to create a conversation about the goals rather than creating a PowerPoint presentation with the goals already formulated.

  • To gain Agreement. There are actually two agreements you want to gain.

    1. Agreement on what the goal actually is.

    2. Agreement that the goal is worthwhile and beneficial.

    Once you have these agreements you will increase the clarity of the goal for everyone. Goal clarity in itself has a very positive impact on ultimate goal achievement. With agreement you will increase focus on the goal as well. Take the time to create both of these agreements and you have a stronger chance of achieving the next item . . .

  • To create Engagement. Notice I said engagement not buy-in. I know we all talk about wanting people to “buy-in” to our ideas and plans. And, given the choice between having people who are “bought-in” vs. people who didn’t care or disagree, I choose the former. But engagement is more than “buy-in. ” When people are engaged in an idea they are committed to it. They feel ownership for it. They have thrown more than their hat into the ring, they have thrown their heart in too. Once people are engaged in the goal you can capture what comes next . . .

  • To set Collective Consciousness. Have you ever noticed that after you buy a new car, you see “your” car everywhere? The reason this occurs isn’t because thousands of people followed your lead to buy the same car you did. It happens because of your Reticular Activating System. Our Reticular Activating System works as a filter helps us notice things we are focusing on or are interested in. Once people are fully engaged in a goal their subconscious mind goes to work and the Reticular Activating System helps. People will begin to see things that will be resources, methods or clues to achieving the goal. Sparks will fly between people on the team and progress may be achieved faster than could be logically expected.

  • To manifest Synergy. We have people work together because we know that together we can achieve more than we can separately. This is the definition of synergy. If you prepare your goals in a vacuum and present them to the group the chance for you to achieve team synergies is virtually nil. The whole point of a group working towards a goal together is to gain synergy. If you want it, you have to let people help create the specific goals they will be directly involved in achieving.

    Getting others involved in the creation of the goals is more than just a good idea. It is more than just the right thing to do. It is the most important step you can take to improve the likelihood that a goal that is set, is reached.

    So when you have a goal to be achieved with the help of others, keep these four reasons in mind and make the time to create the massive benefits described here.

    That time and effort is the best insurance policy you can buy to improve the chance your goals will be achieved.

    Kevin Eikenberry is a leadership expert and the Chief Potential Officer of The Kevin Eikenberry Group (, a learning consulting company. To receive a free Special Report on leadership that includes resources, ideas, and advice go to or call us at (317) 387-1424 or 888. LEARNER.

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