Archive for September, 2010
Check out this interesting book review by Helen Curry at Careers Service 2.0…
Following on from Jim Bright’s post about applying the Chaos Theory of Careers to work with clients, I wanted to pick up on the thought that goal-setting is not always the right thing to do.
Being of more ‘spontaneous and unstructured’ nature, I find it quite oppressive when coaches and trainers bang on about the need to set SMART objectives. You all know the acronym:
- Specific (or is it Significant? Simple?)
- Measurable (or perhaps Manageable? Motivational?)
- Attainable (or is it Achievable? Acceptable? Appropriate? Agreed? Ambitious?)
- Relevant (or is it Realistic? Resourced?)
- Time-limited (maybe Timely?)
All this hyper-focused-ness makes me want to scream sometimes.
These conditions seem to assume that nothing is going to change; that the goal is somehow separate from the context in which it has been defined. They assume that life is not complex, that you can plot a course and just follow it.
But life isn’t like that. It’s messy. Things change. Unexpected things happen.
Perhaps it’s time for a different type of SMART objective.
In last week’s post I talked about the decision-making profile developed by Itamar Gati. Along with some other researchers, Gati has also explored the various factors that lead to decision-making difficulties. As with the profile, this list of difficulties can provide a useful checklist for exploring decision making with clients.
What is your decision-making style?
Do you actually have one…or many?
In much of the literature on decision making approaches, there is a tendency to allocate people to one of a number of different categories or styles.
For example, you might be classified as (Scott & Bruce, 1995):
- Rational – You tend to make decisions in a logical and systematic way
- Avoidant – You tend to avoid making important decisions until the pressure is on
- Dependent – You tend to make important decisions by consulting other people
- Intuitive – You tend to make decisions by relying on your instinct
- Spontaneous – You tend to make impulsive decisions
This seems to me to be overly simplistic and that is also the conclusion of a paper by a group of Israeli psychologists.