There are 2 very good reasons for not setting negatively focused or worded goals – or objectives or outcomes – or whatever you want to call ‘results’.
The most common reason is that it tends to get people thinking about and moving towards the negative goals – the old ‘don’t think of a pink elephant’ scenario.
But the second reason is probably just as important. As a manager, referring to the negative often means that you are not focusing on what it is that you want the other person to achieve. (Incidentally, exactly the same thing applies in both our work and our family life (eg with our partner or kids).
We tell them what not to do and then blame for not doing the vague thing that we had in mind but didn’t clarify in our own thinking and didn’t express clearly.
The net effect is that they actually did meet our specific request even though they haven’t done what we would have preferred.
So, who’s fault is that?
Remember, take time to think through and set your goals/objectives and make them POSITIVE.
Try this exercise. For the next 3 days, notice when you say anything negative and write it down.
As you learn to speak in a negative way, you will also automatically begin setting positive goals.