Your first steps are to identify a goal and then assess whether the goal is realistic.
- What aspects of your own interpersonal communication skills would you like to improve?
- As an online student, what areas would you like to improve to help you be more successful academically?
- In your career, what areas of your interpersonal communication could you improve?
Since these are merely examples of areas of possible improvement, you would need to tweak these to make them SMART goals and to be more specific to your life situation and circumstances.
Examples of areas of possible improvement:
- Have a better attitude at work or about your online classes.
- Improve listening skills with loved ones.
- Use more appropriate nonverbal communication so people don’t misread you.
- Seek to understand the people you are talking to so that you don’t misunderstand/misread them.
You would need to tweak these goals to be more specific to your life situation and circumstances, but each one certainly is measurable and, if met, will lead you toward improved relationships in your professional, academic, and personal lives.
Setting goals is a great thing to do, but to successfully attain those goals, you have to make sure they are realistically within our grasp. For example, a person might set a goal to be elected as the city’s mayor in the next election. That may be an attainable goal for someone who is involved in politics and has already made connections and built networks, but for someone with no experience, it would be an unrealistic goal.
Setting goals often requires people to stretch themselves beyond their comfort level and put their interpersonal effectiveness skills to work in unfamiliar surroundings.
This module, you will identify three goals (one personal, one professional, and one academic) and assess the reality of the goals that you have set. You can use this worksheetas a template for the assignment. Your goal statements should be concise and stated as a positive (you will do something rather than you will not do something). They should also be SMART:
As you review your goals, explain your answers to the following questions:
- How far am I from attaining this goal?
- Is the goal set too high? Is it set too low? (If you replied yes to either of those questions, consider how you could rewrite your goal so that it is not set too high or low.)
- How long will it take me to attain this goal?
- If the goal will take a long time to attain, could I set smaller goals that I could attain while still working toward my bigger goal?
- How will I benefit from successfully attaining my goal?