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Personal Insights
Author's profile photo Jason Cao

Coach’s Corner – Setting Aspirational Goals

Lose weight – Call home more often – Complete my certification.

At this time of the year, many of us are setting goals for ourselves, regardless of whether or not we intend to follow-through. Does our lack of outcomes mean we should stop goal-setting altogether?

Last year, one of my personal goals was to manage my biases to develop my emotional intelligence. There is much literature about bias (i.e. the different types, conscious and unconscious bias, and how to overcome them) so access to information is not the issue. Yet, I’m not content to check this one off as complete. Honestly, this is one of the toughest goals I’ve ever chosen and I’m committing to carry this goal forward to 2019.

Some goal-setting experts might point out that I’m not achieving my goal because it’s not S.M.A.R.T. enough. True. It could be more Specific. A Measurable component will let me know when I’ve achieved it. The goal should be Achievable. And just because it’s achievable, it should also be Realistic for me to achieve it. Setting a Time to accomplish a goal would also be helpful.

All those goal-setting best-practices aside, I think we need to give ourselves a break as well. No one should set themselves up for failure, so setting goals one can commit to is important. However, I also believe that committing to a goal you know is difficult (and maybe impossible) to accomplish is also important. We know that emotional intelligence is not something that we can time-box and expect to master in a short period of time. When it comes to most ‘soft-skills’ we might even take a lifetime and still call our learning efforts a “work in progress.”

I have 2 suggestions when it comes to goal-setting this year:

  1. Identify a personal goal related to emotional intelligence. It’s important for your well-being. Whether it translates to career success, stronger relationships, or a better impression of how others view you will be bonus after that.
  2. Don’t set any timeline but do set aside some time to work on it. No pressure. Really.

To support you with your personal soft-skills goals, the Coach’s Corner blog series kicked off last August. Thanks to Leadership and Life Coaches who shared their knowledge and advice on specific ‘soft skills’ topics. The purpose of the blog series is to help SAP Community members increase awareness and appreciation for Emotional Intelligence, and hopefully make use of expert advice to help you become even more successful in your roles. This infographic (thanks to SAP intern superstar Cynthia Lee ) summarizes the impact and variety of topics we already covered. Enjoy and be sure to make use of this unique and valuable new part of our SAP Community.

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      Author's profile photo Vicki Catterall
      Vicki Catterall

      Such a timely post, Jason!

      I’ve set a goal to improve my boundaries, specifically actually having them and sticking to them, in order to increase my emotional intelligence and, really, my peace of mind. Your advice on timelines, ‘Don’t set any timeline but do set aside some time to work on it.’ really resonated for me as I set boundaries on my time and calendar. Thank you!