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Collaborative Goal Setting

Submitted by Jack Byrd, Jr.

Organizations, collaborative groups, and individuals have a need for goals. We often fail to meet our goals because our process for creating the goals is flawed. This activity demonstrates how to collaboratively set goals that are realistic and achievable.

average rating is 5 out of 5, based on 3 votes, rating(s)
Boys playing and one shooting a goal in water filled rice paddy field

Learning Goals

  • Develop a deeper understanding of common mistakes in goal setting.

  • Learn an adapted SMART process to collaboratively create achievable goals.


Set Up: Prepare for the Activity

Organize participants into small groups (5-6 ppl).

Share the Collaborative Goal Setting Worksheet with participants.

Begin by introducing the learning goals of this activity.

Step One: Introduce the SMART Goal Description (10 min)

As a full group, introduce the worksheet and review the description of SMART Goals:

  • S = Specific (things that are easy to relate to)

  • M = Measurable (things that we measure quantitatively or qualitatively)

  • A = Achievable (things that are realistic, agreed to, and attainable)

  • R = Relevant (things that make a difference)

  • T = Time Bound (things that can be achieved within the time available)

Ask participants to review Challenge One of the worksheet and complete this first step silently. After about five minutes, invite a couple of participants to share their revised statements. Review as a full group.

Step Two: Practice Setting SMART Goals (10 min)

In small groups, invite participants to review Challenge Two: Organization Goal Setting in the worksheet. Give them a few moments to read the scenario and then ask them to complete the challenge as a group. You can also read the scenario aloud to the full group.

Organization Goal Setting

You are the leadership team of a volunteer organization. The mission of the organization is to increase food security in your community. Currently, there are 223 members in your organization, but only 127 members (56%) are actively involved. You want to expand your services but need more members and, particularly, active members to do so.

Step Three: Practice Identifying New Challenges (15 min)

Invite groups to move on to Challenge Three in the worksheet. If necessary, review the tasks together as a full group:

  • Each group must identify another challenge for the leadership team in the scenario.

  • Each group will create a new goal based on the needs that they identified in the scenario.

After each group has had a chance to create a new goal based on a challenge that they identified, briefly share back with the full group.

Step Four: Debrief as a Full Group (15 min)


  • How was the experience different when creating a goal by yourself (like in Challenge One) versus crafting goals together (Challenges Two and Three)?

  • Why might you want to craft goals together as a group or team?

  • What are the challenges of doing this together? Trade-offs?





Introduction to Collaborative Discussion

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average rating is 5 out of 5

September 11, 2023 at 2:17:48 AM

average rating is 5 out of 5

August 31, 2023 at 10:09:08 PM

average rating is 5 out of 5

August 31, 2023 at 9:59:14 PM

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