Business

The GRASP Model of Goal Planning

There are many models and frameworks for individual and team goal management. We’ve all heard of SMART goals which aim to ensure that all targets are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely. In addition you may have heard of the GROW model which is a coaching construct. It stands for:

Goals

Rreality (technically it stands for “current Reality” but the R in GROW makes more sense this way)

EITHERoptions

Will

The idea is that you can use this model to talk to a client or an employee about their journey toward their goals. By recognizing where they are now (current Reality), reviewing their Options (and helping them brainstorm new options), and then leveraging their Will or commitment to the task, you can facilitate an action plan. The flaw in the GROW model is that it lacks one of the most important aspects of successful goal management – the key component of achieving your toughest goals – your support network. So today I’d like to introduce GRASP.

According to the official dictionary definition, to grasp something is to take hold of it, either physically or intellectually. When we say that we grasp a point, it means we really get it. Your grasp is what you can truly take hold of as opposed to what you can just touch. Or to put it poetically:

“A man’s reach should exceed his grasp or what’s a heaven for?”

(from Andrea del Sarto by Robert Browning)

So here’s how it goes:

Goal – A defined goal is one of the most powerful tools you can leverage on behalf of your own success. Being able to clearly envision the end result you seek, to the point that it becomes embedded in your consciousness and drives your every action is the key to its achievement. If you doubt it, watch the Olympics tonight. Each one of those athletes has gone to bed every night with a vision of themselves at the finish line or on the podium with a medal in hand. And you can bet that medal is neither silver nor bronze.

Resources – Rarely (and I mean EXTREMELY rarely) you can achieve a goal all by yourself with no tools and no help. The rest of the time you need to apply resources to your pursuit. Maybe it’s training, maybe it’s a physical tool, and maybe it’s a mentor. Seeking out and engaging the right resources at the right time will make the difference between climbing to the top of Mount Everest and sitting at the bottom with nothing but a dream.

AAction Plan – Seeing the goal clearly is great, but it doesn’t get you there. A plan of action is a carefully considered roadmap of short and long term behaviors that you will engage in to help move you toward your destination. I can’t stress how important it is to write down this plan. Adjust it when and where necessary, include milestones and share it with your team. And speaking of your team…

yessupport Group – No one goes it alone. Even the brightest of visionaries have support. Does this mean you need to hire a team of assistants? Absolutely not. Engage your network. Make your goal public. Share your progress with your friends and supporters. In the pursuit of any goal there will be roadblocks – lack of inspiration, setbacks, days when you just want to put the whole thing down and go farm tomatoes instead. Your support group is your team of personal cheerleaders. Don’t just have them, call them regularly. Let them help you get back up on the horse if you fall off. Let them hold you accountable for meeting your own ambitious targets.

Purpose – The final aspect of a successful endeavor is a compelling purpose. No one works this hard just for the fun of it. Success can be a gritty, dirty job at times, and without a strong and inspiring raison d’etre, the goal is just one more mountain to climb, one more chore to do.

While all of these frameworks provide tools which allow you to confirm that your goal plan is well structured, the most important factor in achieving your personal and professional goals is your own enthusiasm and desire. Nothing worth doing is ever easy. Surround yourself with people who support you, get the right tools for the job and apply 100% of your focus to your action plan and you are on your way!

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