Share your goals with the right people
A series of new studies have found that when people tell their goals to people they think are higher than themselves, they show stronger goal commitments and perform better.
Dr. Howard Klein, the lead author of the new study and a professor of management and human resources at Ohio State University, states: “In most cases, sharing your goals will give you more benefits—provided you and you Valued people share goals. And when people tell their goals to people they think are inferior to themselves, or hide their goals in their hearts, it does not help them achieve their goals. “The study was published in Applied Psychology Journal of Applied Psychology.
The higher ranks in the study were those participants considered more prestigious and respected than them. The reason people are willing to share goals with someone they think is higher is because they care about how the higher-ranking person evaluates themselves. They don’t want to be underestimated by each other for not meeting their goals.
In another study involving 171 undergraduates, students were asked to perform tasks on a computer. They are divided into three groups. In the first group, the laboratory assistants who checked the results of their tasks wore suits and introduced themselves as doctoral students in business schools and experts in studying topics today. College students agree that this person has a higher status than himself. For the second group of participants, the same laboratory assistant, wearing casual clothes, introduced himself as a student at a local community university and was working part-time in a business school. In this case, students consider assistants to be inferior to themselves. The third group of subjects did not share their goals with the lab assistant.
Researchers found that participants who shared goals with higher-ranking assistants reported that they wanted to achieve their goals more than those who shared goals with lower-ranked assistants. In fact, those who were seen by the higher-ranking assistant did perform better on the task than others. Participants who shared their goals with lower-ranking assistants performed no better than those who did not tell anyone their goals.
“You want to be fully committed and unwilling to give up your goals, and this is more likely to happen when you share your goals with someone you admire,” Dr. Klein said.
In reality, with whom should you share your goals?
Dr. Klein said that superiors are an obvious choice for job goals, but it also depends on the situation. If your goal is to get a better job, or if you have another goal that you don’t want your boss to know, a mentor may be a better choice. You can even talk to someone you admire outside of work.
Whatever the goal you’re talking about, one thing is important when sharing. “The important thing is that you need to pay attention to the opinions and suggestions of the people you share with.”