It’s the new year, and that means it’s time for us to set new goals and achieve bigger dreams. But what if you take a spin on this yearly tradition, and instead of making it just your year, you make it for others too? In this episode, Patrick Veroneau talks about how to help others set and achieve their goals in 2021. He goes deep into the two models that can guide you to be effective at supporting other people and influence them to follow through. Join in on this brief yet insightful conversation to make 2021 the best year yet.
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How To Help Others Set And Achieve Their Goals In 2021
In this episode, as we’re coming into 2021, and I know so many people are looking forward to 2021, and we always talk about goals. Setting goals, what are we going to do in 2021? Personally, I’d take a spin on this from the standpoint of what do we do to help other people in terms of setting their goals. Maybe it’s people that report to us. What are the things that we can do to help them in terms of setting their goals? There were two things that I wanted to talk about. Two different models. One is called the GROW model, and the other is a Coaching model called SCARF. I’m going to talk about an article that was published back in 2008. It’s an article that I love.
It’s a model that I love because it is based on how do you build trust. It was written by a gentleman named David Rock. What I’d like to do is first let’s talk about the GROW model what’s involved in that in terms of helping somebody to set goals, maybe it’s organizationally, it’s personal development that we’re trying to help them with, but how do we do that? What are the steps that we can take for that to happen? After we look at that model, what are the ingredients, or behaviors that I may need to demonstrate, or the other person that’s achieving this goal or set up for this goal may need to feel if they’re going to be fully motivated? Let’s get into it.
The GROOW Model
As I mentioned, the GROW model is an acronym for a coaching model around goal setting. First, in the GROW model, the G stands for Goal, and there’s a worksheet that you’ll be able to download for this, that allows you to go through these steps. As part of our goal, what do we want to accomplish? Secondly, how will I know when it’s achieved? From there, we’re going to move on to Reality. That’s the R in the GROW model. The first question we can ask is, “What’s happening now in terms of the goal so that we understand where are we?” Secondly, “How far away am I from the goal?” This is about getting a pulse on where we are and the process on this and the goal is realistic as well.
The next is the O and it’s one of two O’s in this GROW model. The first one is Obstacles. “What’s standing in my way. Is it me or other people? Is it a lack of skills, knowledge, expertise, physical environment?” Whatever that is. I will stress in this model that what standing in my way, as perceptions other people are not standing in my way unless I allow them to. It’s my perception of that like lack of skills, knowledge, expertise. Those are all perceptions and possibly their resources. I don’t have enough time or money that we may look at as obstacles. I will tell you that if we look at this in terms of resources, we will always be lacking in something. We need to focus more on resourcefulness because we all have equal access to resourcefulness. Nobody has any more than anybody else. Some use it better, but nobody has more.
That’s not the same with resources. My bank account could be bigger than somebody else’s and much smaller than somebody else’s, that’s a fact. Resourcefulness is not something that one of us gets more or less of unless we choose it for ourselves. The other O in this model is Options. “What options do I have to resolve the issues or obstacles? What am I going to do about this?” This is resourcefulness. There is a question that I love by a gentleman named Michael Bungay Stanier. He wrote a book called The Coaching Habit. It’s a great book. I would highly recommend reading it, but for this show, what I want to talk about is we’re talking about options is a question that he has termed the AWE question and it stands for, And What Else. To me, that’s resourcefulness, when we have the AWE question because the lazy answer is oftentimes the first thing that we think about.
If we take that and then say, “What else could we do?” We answer that and we say, “What else could we do?” What we find is that where we thought we were limited in terms of the options that we had available to us. When we practice this AWE question or challenge ourselves with the AWE question, we find that we’ve got a lot more options that are available to us in terms of solutions. Lastly, in this GROW model, we look at the W, which is the Will. “Which option will I commit to?” This provides an opportunity for the individual or myself to say, “What am I going to do now? What are my choices, or what is my choice that I’m going to move forward on this?” When we can follow this GROW model and help others, it helps them to refine where they want to go.
Now in the work that I do I use what is called SET goals, which are Specific, Emotional, and Time-bound, but what they’re doing is very much in line with what this GROW model is talking about. There is so much research that is out there in terms of providing us with the evidence that shows that we’re capable of making change. You may be thinking that GROW model seems basic or easy to follow in terms of helping other people to set their goals. I would agree. The challenge, if we’re going to be effective at helping other people to set their goals or our behaviors, how we approach them, especially if they’re people that maybe work for us or people that were incentivized in some way by their achieving their goals or improving or developing where they are.We all have equal access to resourcefulness. Nobody has any more than anybody else. Some use it better, but nobody has more. Click To Tweet
The SCARF Model
This could happen at home too if we think about it. My approach to my kids, if I am motivated or want to see them improve, helping them SET goals that can do that. My behaviors are going to be important in terms of how do I support them on that. That leads me to the second part of what we’re going to talk about. This model is called SCARF, and it’s an acronym again. The title of it is SCARF: A Brain-Based Model for Collaborating with and Influencing Others. It was written by David Rock. He’s the CEO of Results Coaching Systems international out of Sydney, Australia. This is an older article. It’s 2008, but I will tell you, this model is one that I don’t use directly as it’s outlined here, but each of the pieces I use in my work and has seen the benefit of this.
The whole idea behind the SCARF model, and I’m going to read a few sections directly from his research paper. He talks about social neuroscience, exploring biological foundations and the way humans relate to each other and themselves. It talks about a diverse set of topics, which include the theory of mind, the self mindfulness, emotional regulation, attitudes, stereotyping, empathy, social pain, status, fairness, collaboration, connectedness, persuasion, morality, compassion, deception, trust, and goal pursuit, that’s a lot. What then goes on to say, “From this diversity, two themes are emerging from social neuroscience. Firstly, that much of our motivation driving social behavior is governed by an overarching organizing principle of minimizing threat and maximizing reward. Secondly, that several domains of social experience draw upon the same brain networks to maximize reward and minimize threat as the brain networks used for primary survival needs. In other words, social needs are treated in much the same way as the brain treats the need for food and water.”
When we talk about the SCARF model, it involves five domains of human social experience, Status, Certainty, Autonomy, Relatedness, and Fairness. What happens is that in these five domains, they activate either a primary reward or a threat. Now, I talked about the importance of our behaviors. We’ve SET goals or help people identify how to set an effective goal through that framework. If we’re going to support people and influence them to follow through on this, then these five domains. The first domain that we talk about is around status and it is about relative importance, pecking order, and seniority. Humans hold a representation of status in relation to others, one in conversations. This affects us in many different ways.
When we feel there is either a perception or a real reduction in our status, it has a negative impact on our ability to perform. In ways that we might see this in terms of goal setting or somebody’s status is if we are micromanaging somebody or we’re questioning the way that they’re going to do something continually in a way that’s negative. We know that what this does is it has a negative impact on their ability to feel they’re going to be able to do this. I can’t tell you how many times I remember hearing organizations that I would work with that you would hear, “You’re the entrepreneur of your territory, treat it like it’s your own business.” That when people tried to do things that might be outside of what was standard practice, they were always questioned on it or told that idea wouldn’t work.
What you do is you diminish somebody’s ability to be able to make a change because I’m questioning. “I want you to run this as your own business, but I don’t believe that you can.” When relating this to the cables model that I talk about quite often in my work, there are two behaviors here that can help to activate status. One is around appreciation. It’s recognizing people for their contributions, that elevate status, but as well, we talk about belongingness creating a sense of inclusion. When people feel they’re part of the group, we also create status. From there, we create psychological safety. When we look at the power of these things, we know that when people feel as though they have psychological safety, their openness to maybe challenging directions in a positive way increases.
That generally benefits both the individual and the organization when that happens. Next, we move on to certainty. Our brains look for patterns or recognition. We don’t like uncertainty as much as people will say, “I love surprises.” We love surprises that work in our favor. We don’t like surprises that I don’t think anybody would say that if they went out to their vehicle and it wouldn’t start that they like that surprise doesn’t work in their favor, we need certainty. In relating it back to cables, we can talk about this in terms of specifics, which is the last behavior in cables. That is around creating clear expectations. What do we need? What’s expected of us?
The better we are in terms of helping other people recognize or understand clear expectations. It might be how I support you, or what you need to make sure that you do in terms of achieving this goal. The clearer that we can be in that, the better we’re going to be in terms of satisfying that need for certainty. Next in the SCARF model is Autonomy. When I see the word autonomy, I immediately think of work that was done by Dan Pink in his book Drive around what motivates individuals. There were three things that he speaks about in his research that he has identified as the three main characteristics or things that are needed. If we’re going to motivate people, one is the purpose, challenge, or the ability to be developed. The third is autonomy. It’s interesting that here. Autonomy is the perception of exerting control over one’s environment. A sense of having choices.
Now we can do this in terms of helping other people to feel that they have options, how are they going to achieve, what they want to achieve and how can they do it? I’ll go back again to what I said before of organizations that will say, “It’s your business run this territory it’s your own business.” Every time somebody tries to do something that is outside of what is normally done. I am not talking about things that are unethical or go against company policy. What you do is limit that ability for the person to feel they have real autonomy in terms of what’s going on. One of the easiest ways for us to help in terms of creating autonomy or the sense that an individual feels they have the autonomy, is to ask them their opinions on things, how they think they can do something.
It’s a goal that we’re going to hit. This is a milestone. “How do you think that you can reach that effectively?” When we do that, we allow people to feel, “I’m in control of this.” It also has the benefit of being able to hold people accountable. When they’ve said that they’re going to do something, it’s easier for me to go back and say, “You mentioned to me that you were going to do this. This was the date you were going to have it by in terms of how you thought you could successfully do this, what happened?” That’s going to be a much more productive conversation than maybe somebody that I told them, “This is what you’re going to do and how it’s going to be done.” They could have resisted from the beginning thinking, “This is not the way that I want to do it, or I would do it if I had the opportunity.” Maybe their way is better. Oftentimes it probably is, if they’re closer to what the issues are.
Lastly, we talk about Relatedness and it in some way, goes back to belongingness. Deciding whether we’re part of the in, or the out-group, when we don’t feel we are part of the in-group that we have a connection there, then what we do is we become disengaged. I will often talk in terms of teams and what makes the most successful teams. There are three vital themes that tend to come up with in teams are that they support, challenge, and celebrate each other. In relatedness, this idea of inclusion hits on the support that we need to be there for each other. From a behavior standpoint, when we talk about cable, it’s about belongingness that we create belongingness, that we’re in this together.
If I’m trying to help somebody as they set their goals, then I need to make sure that they recognize that I’m invested in this with them, that I will support them on this. When I do that, I know that their ability to follow through and get things done is going to be much greater. Lastly, in this SCARF model, we talk about Fairness and it is an interesting one. If I look toward cables, it’s about congruence. “Do I walk the talk? Is what I say and I do the same?” If individuals feel they’re being held to separate standards from other people on the team, then they’re going to lack fairness. If you lack fairness, you’re going to see either disengagement or engagement in ways that are unproductive through disruptive behaviors or maybe other types of more serious aggression.
You’re certainly going to experience a negative effect when there’s a lack of fairness. From a cable standpoint, we’re right into congruence, “Is what I say and what I do the same thing. Am I consistent in terms of how I treat other people on the team?” When we’re not, there’s going to be a sense that there’s a lack of fairness. One person gets treated better than another one person gets held to different standards than another. They get away with stuff that another person doesn’t get away with. One person is held to higher standards which seems unfair when we don’t have fairness, we don’t have trust. When we don’t have trust, it’s very hard to influence people to follow in a direction that we’re asking them to go.When people feel as though they have psychological safety, their openness to challenging directions increases in a positive way. Click To Tweet
As you can see here in this model SCARF, Status is about relative importance to others. Certainty concerns, being able to predict the future. Autonomy provides a sense of control over events. Relatedness is a sense of safety with others of a friend rather than a foe inclusion and Fairness is a perception that there are as David Rock suggests their exchanges between people. When we’re able to activate all five of these domains, which is through our behaviors, then we activate a primary reward rather than a threat with individuals. People don’t feel threatened by us when we’re behaving these ways, they connect with us more. We build more trust and we’re able to challenge each other more to reach where we’re going to go. We support, challenge, and celebrate all three of those things that take place when we demonstrate the five domains of SCARF.
I hope you found this helpful as we come into 2021, you might be thinking, “This is the perfect opportunity for me to try and help this individual,” set the goals and then support them. This approach between GROW and SCARF allows us to do all three of these support, challenge, and celebrate for all the success that we’ll see in 2021. I hope you found this helpful. We have so much opportunity here in terms of helping one another to rise above our best. I look forward to sharing many more episodes through 2021 on how we can become better. Peace.
- The Coaching Habit
- SCARF: A Brain-Based Model for Collaborating with and Influencing Others
- Results Coaching Systems