Learn, Do Not Copy!

Develop and agree common objectives

This page is designed to answer the following questions:

NOTE: Although this page has been marked as complete, it has not yet been peer-reviewed or quality-assured, therefore it should be considered a ‘first draft‘ and any information should be fact-checked independently.

For this assessment criterion, you will be required to demonstrate that you are able to develop and agree on common SMART objectives when working with colleagues, however, the same process will be used when agreeing objectives with other professionals and service users and their families.  The focus should be maintained on the overall aim of the working relationship and negotiation skills may be required to ensure colleagues agree with work-based targets to achieve objectives.

Locke and Latham’s Theory of Goal Setting and Task Performance showed a link between goal setting and performance, with clear and challenging goals, along with appropriate feedback, leading to increased chances of success. In 1983, Duran’s paper ‘There’s a S.M.A.R.T way to write management goals and objectives‘ introduced SMART goals.

SMART objectives are specific, measurable, assignable/achievable, realistic and timely:

  • Specific – target a specific area
  • Measurable – can be quantified or success can be measured
  • Assignable – specify who is accountable (in modern times, this has been replaced with achievable/attainable)
  • Realistic – must be achievable within available boundaries and with available time and resources
  • Time-related – when the results will be achieved or the goal completed

All objectives that you set should use the SMART format to maximise their chances of success. This could be your own personal objectives, shared team objectives or individual objectives that you agree with a team member during supervision. Similarly, you will set goals with service users as part of a person-centred, outcomes-based approach and when you work in collaboration with other agencies or professionals, you will set shared goals for the partnership.

When setting shared goals, all stakeholders should have the opportunity to be involved in the process and share their input. Everyone’s perspectives should be valued and respected and they should have the opportunity to ask questions to clarify their understanding. The process may require negotiation skills to facilitate an agreement with work-based targets to achieve objectives. You may need to explain the reasons for the targets (which will often be to improve the outcomes for the individuals to whom you provide care and support services) and provide reassurances. Being able to make compromises is also a useful skill to utilise to reach a solution that is agreeable to all parties.

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