Goal setting is critical, use the SMART M process to assist


I Ask

Someone asked me whether I have SMARTM goals. When I said, “Yes. I want to drive a big car,” he looked disgusted and walked away. Did I say something wrong?


I Answer

Let me explain it to you:

A goal is an end to which you direct some specific effort in order to satisfy an unfulfilled need.

To be successful, a goal must be:

  • Specific in scope, actions, resources, alternatives.
  • Measurable in results and consumption of resources.
  • Achievable in results for participants.
  • Rewarding to participants, beneficiaries and suppliers of resources.
  • Time taken and end dates.
  • Monitor and communicate actions with action plans.

When we talk of SMARTM goals we actually refer to an acronym that provides an easy recipe for ensuring that our goals comply with the above criteria.


  • You should be able to define your goals in manageable chunks.


  • How will I know? (See? Hear? Feel?)
  • What are the observable results?


  • Is this within the participants’ control?
  • Does the participant have the skills, the resources and the authority?
  • Am I committed to follow through?
  • Did I communicate the plans and priorities to those around me and did they agree?


  • The benefit must be greater than the consumption of resources. Lack of clarity causes procrastination.


  • Get clarity and commitment on deadlines and diary time.
  • How long will it take?


  • What are the mileposts so that I can have external monitoring that I am on track?

I Ask

Which processes I can apply to ensure that my goals are achieved?


I Explain

This 6-point action plan facilitates the setting of achievable goals by asking the following questions:

  • Can we commit and get the resources?
  • Can we see a successful implementation?
  • Is the scope and plan communicated and organized so that all participants know what to do?

What is to be done?

When is it to be done?

What is the due date?

Where is it to be done?

Who is to do it?

How do we monitor?


I Advise

When a person reaches a goal, we have a “Victory Session” and celebrate. Victories celebrated give energy to keep us fuels us for the next goal.

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Understanding DISC Profiles

Update: If you are considering a midlife career change it is very important that you complete a DISC profile.


I Ask

Somebody said that understanding DISC Profiles can be extremely useful in dealing with customers and colleagues. I’m not so sure what it is exactly, let alone how to use it. Can you explain it to me?


I Answer

Your DISC Profile gives you an indication of the behavioral style that you prefer based on the DISC Dimensions of Behavior Model.

This model provides for four Behavioral Dimensions, each of which encompasses a set of key characteristics and personal behavioral preferences.

The acronym DISC indicates the main characteristic of each of the four styles or dimensions:

D – Dominance

I – Influencing

S – Steadiness

C – Compliance

The table below describes typical behavioral characteristics of persons with High “D”, “I”, “S” and “C” preferences:

Understanding DISC profiles for career development

High D – Dominance

  • Active, positive movement in an unfavorable environment.
  • Observable characteristics: strong, forceful, competitive.
  • Basic orientation: task-oriented (results), moves people to action, desire to cause change.
  • Positive motivators: directness, does not like to be entertained or restrained.
  • Negative motivators: does not like being taken advantage of , especially criticism of their character (self-concept/ego).
  • Basic growth factors: impatience is a behavioral limitation, they are selective listeners, tend to have a blind spot regarding other’s views and feelings.
  • Sees environment as antagonistic/hostile.

High I – Influence

  • Active, positive movement in a favorable environment.
  • Observable characteristics: optimistic, easily relate to people.
  • Basic orientation:  social, high-keyed emotionally, loves to entertain.
  • Positive motivators:  needs social recognition, needs companionship, needs group morale.
  • Negative motivators:  social rejection – experience disapproval in relationships or criticism as personal rejection by others.
  • Basic growth factors: disorganization in task behavior is a competency limitation.
  • Sees environment as supportive / favorable.

High S – Steadiness

  • Passive, agreeable movement in a favorable environment.
  • Observable characteristics: pragmatic, objective, team payer, family person.
  • Basic orientation: concrete results-oriented, bottom-line approach, prefers concrete to abstract.
  • Positive motivators: proven practices, clear objectives, follows procedure.
  • Negative motivators: loss of stability, suspicious of the unknown, does not like change.
  • Basic growth factors: possessiveness and adherence to the code of order.
  • Tranquility is a key limitation.
  • Sees Environment as antagonistic / hostile

High C – Conscientiousness

  • Cautious, tentative movement in an unfavorable environment.
  • Observable characteristics: accurate-the most precise of all patterns, the quality control person.
  • Basic orientation task orientated (Detail): highly intuitive, people readers, cautious in relationships.
  • Positive motivators: the correct or proper way, most self-discipline.
  • Negative motivators: criticism of their work or their effort in a situation.
  • Basic growth factors: overly critical and demanding of both themselves and others because of their high standards (though this criticism is often unspoken).

I Ask

But what practical value does these concepts have?


I Answer

DISC Dimensions of Behavior helps you discover and capitalize on your unique behavioral strengths. DISC can also help you realize how overusing your strengths can create misunderstandings, tension and conflict.

Knowing how to be responsive to the communication needs of others is the key to success in relationships.

Understanding the Dimensions of Behavior helps you to better understand the behavior of others whose strongest behavioral preferences lie in the dimensions (styles) which differ from your own.


I Ask

Is there any way to determine the behavioral preference of a person, say for instance, a customer…?

The DISC People Reading Guide is a most valuable tool in this regard, especially if you use it in combination with the DISC Behavioral Styles Summary:

Outgoing / Direct

  • Faster Pace
  • More telling
  • Louder speech
  • More inflection

More competitive and directing (“D” need)

  • Closed posture
  • Unexpressive / Cool face
  • Feeling unexpressed
  • Formal
  • Focuses on “What?”
  • Priority on goal and Results

Reserved / Indirect

  • Slower pace
  • More asking
  • Softer speech
  • More monotone

More accepting and doing
(“S” need)

  • Closed posture
  • Relaxed / warm face
  • Feelings expressed
  • Casual
  • Focuses on “How?”
  • Priority on cooperation and stability

More talkative and interactive (“I” need)

  • Open Posture
  • Animated / warm face
  • Feelings expressed
  • Casual
  • Focuses on “Who?”
  • Priority on people and approval

More assessing and thinking
(“C” need)

  • Closed posture
  • Unexpressive / cool face
  • Feelings unexpressed
  • Formal
  • Focuses on “Why?”
  • Priority on quality and analysis
DISC Behavioral Styles Summary
Major Goals: Results
People involvement
Security / Stability Accuracy
Major Fears: Losing control of environment
Being taken advantage of
Loss of approval
Sudden change
Loss of security
Criticism of performance
Lack of standards
Dislikes: Being controlled by others
Lack of results
Handling complex details
Working alone
Hostility, conflict
Unclear explanations
Under Pressure: Domineering
As a buyer responds to: Options
Saving personal effort
Assurance of stability
Personal attention
Evidence of quality and accuracy
Logical approaches
Decision style: Quick Emotional / “Gut feel” Deliberate Analytical

I Explain

It might be a smart move to fill in your own DISC Profile, as well as those of your team members on this page. It would be very helpful in guiding you in your interaction with them.

Just bear in mind that behavioral preferences are not cast in stone and can change over time…


DISC Profile Example

DISC Profile Example

If you are not sure of what your DISC Profile is ask your team leader for assistance.

My profile is that of a counselor.

Counselors are particularly effective in solving people’s problems. They impress others with their warmth empathy and understanding.

They find it easy to look for the good in others and have an optimistic outlook. Counselors prefer to deal with others on the basis of building long- standing relationships.