Daniel Taylor

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Goal setting with Facet5

January 21, 2021

The New Year is always a time when setting challenges and goals is uppermost in our minds and although we are always conscious of achieving new things, we do this to varying degrees of success...

“Off with the old, on with the new…”

How much is the desire and fascination for novelty driven by our personality preferences? Our willingness to change and do things in a completely different way can show up if we examine certain factors and subfactors in our Facet5 profiles.

First of all, let’s think about how we respond to new challenges and ideas. We can all picture those people who jump up at the possibility of doing something new and exciting, they are always the ones who will embrace things first. This makes us think primarily about the Energy factor, in particular Vitality. Descriptors matching high Vitality are words like ‘enthusiastic’ and ‘vivacious’; they will jump at the chance to do anything new! The prospect of a New Year could well inspire intense bursts of activity but we need to ensure we don’t overcommit or bite off more than we can chew.

What does this mean, though, to those demonstrating less excitement for new things? The strength here will be to think things through; lower Energy scorers consider things in great depth before taking them on (‘think-do’ instead of ‘do-think’) and it may be that they are slower to register excitement and enthusiasm, or maybe not at all. We also know that this level of consideration can lead to thoroughness, so things are more likely to be completed instead of left half-done!

“…and more, much more than this, I did it my way…”

Yes, you’ve guessed it…let’s discuss Will. We aren’t all great at goal setting, sometimes we need a bit of help to validate our own thoughts or to get ideas. Lower scores on Will, in particular Independence, will be great at consulting and getting advice from others. It is their natural style to find out what others think before choosing a course of action. Goal setting for lower scores will be a consultative process. Once goals are set, they can be flexible too, as lower scorers on Determination will be accommodating about the plans they have made. The challenge here will be to make sure they stick to their guns, as sometimes lower Will can yield too much flexibility and indecision.

High Determination scorers set goals and stick to them. High Will is closely associated with goal orientation (often cited as one of the few reliable predictors of performance in the workplace) and so, individuals with these scores will seem decisive and steadfast in pursuit of their goals. But what could the drawbacks be? On the face of it, not many, but it is worth thinking about how uncompromising high scorers might be and their reluctance to take ideas from others (high Independence); could they be at risk of setting unrealistic or overambitious goals?

“You say you want a revolution. Well, you know we all want to change the world…”

It is worth considering how goal setting relates to our Control profile. Some of these implications are obvious; our levels of Discipline and Responsibility are likely to dictate how much structure we will put around our goal setting. High Control scorers are naturally conscientious which means they will also go through the rigour of revisiting their goals regularly and checking on progress. Since low Control scorers often cite writing lists of tasks and either losing them or never looking at them again, we can imagine that their goal setting approach may have far less discipline and consistency attached to it! This part is the more obvious aspect.

We can also consider how radical, or even aspirational, goals might be. With low Control there is less dependence on how things have been done in the past and so we might expect more creativity and fluidity around the kinds of goals which are set. It might be that the overall aim of the goal is known, but the means to get there is very much open to interpretation and iteration. There is no precedent to consider, which is very much different in the case of high Control. With higher Control there will be much more adherence to how things are supposed to be done and respect for the accepted way of doing things, so we might expect goals to be more realistic and perhaps to be a progression or incremental change, rather than anything radically new. So, is it a New Year’s revolution, or evolution?

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you’ve always got…”

I am never sure who said this as there are different views when you look at Google, but I’m going to go with Henry Ford, who claimed if he’d just done what people wanted him to, they would have got ‘faster horses’. The desire to take a personal challenge and improve upon it could be said to sit within our Emotionality profile. We know that higher scorers are natural learners and want to improve themselves almost constantly, which will yield a great deal of thought about goal setting and personal growth at this time of year. Lower scorers on Emotionality will be more content with who they are and perhaps less inclined to focus on self-improvement at this time of year; it is what it is.

Whatever your profile and how you feel about goal setting, New Year’s resolutions and other challenges, t-three would like to wish you all the best for a safe and happy 2021.

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