We should all want to achieve stellar results personally, organizationally, and for our customers. The new year brings an eagerness for new and better results and is a perfect time to gain clarity in how we will achieve these desired results. Whether or not you have already established goals for 2016, these 3 steps will help you gain clarity in your current needs and goals so that they are transformed into stellar results. This 3-step process provides a structure and framework that can be used repeatedly as your needs change over time, as well as daily to help stay focused on those areas you need to transform into stellar results.
As you go through the 3 steps, notice how it is practically applied in the examples shown.
1. Analyze your Current Needs
This first step is to identify the areas where you see gaps between your current state and your desired state. For example, a goal that you haven’t attained yet; a frustration or challenge that you are currently facing; or a skill you need to improve to get better results immediately; or maybe for the promotion you are looking at in the future. Whether you are looking for stellar results in your goals or the frustrations and challenges you are facing, it is imperative to gain clarity about your needs. This analysis helps to fully detail the need and any contributing factors or data that are relevant to the need. This also helps you determine your priorities. To identify your current needs, reflect in the following 3 areas:
- Identify where you are experiencing frustrations or challenges that hinder stellar results. Taking this action focuses your attention on the roadblocks to your needs and goals.
Be specific to the situation – what are you experiencing that is having a negative effect on achieving stellar results? Also, look at the associated behaviors of self or someone else involved in the situation that is hindering the best results. Don’t worry if you don’t have complete clarity at this stage, that comes in step 2.
- Identify the specific areas you need skill improvement. Include anything you are having difficulty doing well with consistency. Keep in mind the skills and behaviors that you need to improve and practice for specific situations, projects, or future job opportunities.
- Identify the specific areas you want stellar results. This includes your short and long-term goals and those you are responsible for attaining in your position.
You will find that as you begin to analyze your needs that these 3 areas of inquiry are typically tied together for achieving stellar results. For instance, if you have a personal goal to save $10,000 this year, the results of your behaviors (skill) in money management, your financial opportunities, and your financial challenges over the year will influence your degree of success in reaching this goal.
The next step provides clarity in correlating your stated need to finding the best solutions.
2. Identify the Best Solution
This important step develops and outlines the right solutions to the specific needs that you have previously listed, giving you a roadmap of actions to take. To ensure that your solution leads to stellar results, use the following techniques when identifying the best solution:
- Correlate your identified needs (challenges, improved skill, or desired result) to specific competencies. This important action categorizes the need in order to uncover the best solutions. This approach also serves to break up complicated challenges into bite-size actions that address the underlying need completely.
- Seek advice and collaboration with your boss, mentor, or other trusted advisor if you need further clarity or data in some areas. This helps to expand the range of ideas that can help identify the best solution and course of action.
The following 3 examples show how these combined solution-finding techniques are used to identify the solutions and necessary actions for the stated needs and goals.
3. Take Action To Make It Happen!
From the above examples, you can see that action is required to achieve stellar results in each of the identified needs. Remember, no action equals zero results. Partial action yields little more, so be committed to fully implementing your solutions. Make the decision to act, and to act in a timely manner if you want stellar results. Use the following tips when taking action once you are clear on the need, solution or actions.
- Schedule your actions – Make sure your actions are timely. In the talent management example above, delaying action can be problematic and also has the potential to mislead the employee to thinking that their current performance is at an acceptable standard.
- Practice new behaviors – Look for opportunities to learn and practice in the areas related to your needs and goals. At first this may be uncomfortable, but with practice comes competence.
- Focus on achieving stellar results – You will get distracted. Keep focused on your identified priorities. As you continue to use this process, you’ll find that you are more organized and focused which leads to stellar results.
- Seek feedback from a mentor or trusted advisor as needed to provide support and accountability in this process. This is especially helpful when difficult to achieve results are needed. Support also generates encouragement and motivation.
- Review the 3- steps when you experience setbacks or uncover new needs or challenges. This method is best used continuously over time as needs and circumstances change.
By analyzing your current needs, identifying the best solutions, and then taking the appropriate actions you will differentiate yourself as a thoughtful leader who takes action and achieves results. Letting challenges or mediocre skills go unaddressed does not lead to stellar results, so don’t delay in gaining further clarity of your overall situational and competency needs.
For further guidance on your competency needs, make sure to take our free self-assessments to help guide your actions specific to your needs.