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Goals Motivation Control Freaks

After working here for a year, I had a performance review with my manager. At the end, I gave him a write-up of my goals for the coming year. He looked them over, set them aside, and said he makes the goals for his employees. He said he gets better goals by doing this. What do you think?

If your manager's goal is to dissatisfy and demotivate his employees, then he can surely accomplish it with this archaic thinking. Goals themselves do tend to have a positive motivational, but when they are dumped on people, their impact is typically diluted. The energizing effect of goals is markedly increased when employees have some input in determining them.

In his desire to maintain control, your manager is undercutting the value of the entire goal-setting process, and, by doing so, he is undercutting the performance of his employees as well. He does not understand that the goals the employees create are not presented to their managers in final form. Rather, they are open for discussion, and they are finalized only after joint agreement is reached.

Ask your manager if he is interested in energizing his team and building productivity, involvement, and commitment. When he answers affirmatively, tell him that employee participation in the goal-setting process can do just that. If he agrees to give it a try, the problem is solved. If he balks, then you have a much clearer fix on his goals, and this can tell you if you need to fix yours.

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