Communicating effectively can be tricky for some people. Ensuring your thoughts are being communicated and interpreted properly can feel daunting.
You risk people misinterpreting your message, which will surely harm your journey to success.
You should know that solid communication skills are crucial to your career and personal life, so it makes sense to invest in becoming a stronger communicator.
In this post, we will cover all bases about SMART goals to promote your communication abilities. But let’s first define what SMART goals are.
What is a SMART Goal?
The SMART goal framework has 5 criteria to create efficient goals in your life. These criteria are: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based.
First introduced in 1981 by George T. Doran, the SMART method was initially created to assist with goal setting and planning for businesses and organizations.
SMART goals are a popular and effective way to achieve just about any type of goal, whether personal or professional. To clarify, let’s explore each of these elements in more depth:
- Specific: Define your goals before you begin. This way, you’ll know what success looks like and can strive to reach it.
- Measurable: You need to be able to monitor your goal progress.
- Attainable: Your goal shouldn’t be impossible, yet it should still present a challenge.
- Relevant: The goal statement should reflect your core values and make sense for your overall mission.
- Time-based: Having an end date for your goal is essential.
The main reason people don’t meet their goals is that they’re not written correctly. However, if you use the SMART goal-setting method, you will be successful more often than not.
10 SMART Goals to Improve Your Communication Skills
Below you will find 10 examples of SMART goals to help you improve your communication skills:
1. Maintain an Open Mind
SMART Goal: In the next two months, I’ll maintain an open mind when conversing with others. I will consider other people’s viewpoints rather than shutting them down.
- Specific: This goal is specific because it targets being open-minded when speaking to others.
- Measurable: You can measure progress by checking how often you verbally understand other people’s points of view.
- Attainable: This is realistic and achievable since anyone can try to understand others’ perspectives.
- Relevant: Focusing on increasing your communication skills is essential for success in many areas of life.
- Time-based: There is a time frame of two months for reaching this goal.
2. Be a Better Listener
SMART Goal: I’ll try to be a better listener by making direct eye contact when speaking to others within the next month. I will make sure I pay close attention and not be distracted.
- Specific: The goal covers being a better listener by making eye contact and not being distracted when speaking.
- Measurable: This can be measured by observing how often the person makes direct eye contact when speaking to others.
- Attainable: This is achievable if the person is willing to put in the effort to practice and improve their listening skills.
- Relevant: Communication isn’t just about verbal speech, but listening too. This goal will help the person be a better listener.
- Time-based: There is a one-month deadline for improving your listening skills.
3. Enhance Writing Skills for Emails
SMART Goal: For the next three weeks, I will ensure my email correspondences are eloquent and easy to understand by creating an outline of what I’m going to write. This will help me form better writing habits.
- Specific: We have a specific action of having an outline of the email in question.
- Measurable: Progress can be measured by the number of emails sent over three weeks.
- Attainable: This goal is a manageable change made by creating an outline before writing the email.
- Relevant: This is relevant to boosting the person’s written communication skills.
- Time-based: The goal is time-bound because it’s set for a three-week deadline.
4. Be More Polite
SMART Goal: I will restrain from being rude when talking to others in the next two weeks. When asking someone for help, I’ll try to say “please” to be extra polite.
- Specific: The person can be more polite by using their words wisely.
- Measurable: You could measure whether or not you are being rude by counting the number of times you say “please” when asking for help.
- Attainable: The words that you voice are within your control.
- Relevant: This is relevant to improving communication because it makes you appear more polite and approachable.
- Time-based: There is a specific end date of two weeks for this goal.
5. Read Communication Books
SMART Goal: I will read 12 books to aid me in learning new techniques and strategies for effective communication in 6 months. I’ll look for books with great reviews and written by self-improvement authors.
- Specific: The goal statement targets a particular way of reading books to improve communication.
- Measurable: This can be easily measured by the number of books read over the specified time.
- Attainable: Reading books is certainly an achievable goal for almost everyone.
- Relevant: Improving your communication skills will help you in all aspects of your life.
- Time-based: You will finish reading 12 books by the end of 6 months.
6. Reduce Response Time
SMART Goal: I will reduce the average time it takes to respond to messages by 20% within the next month. I’ll find poor habits that waste valuable time and set time blocks to respond to emails and calls.
- Specific: The specific goal is to reduce the average time it takes to respond to messages by 20%. That is done by removing time-wasting activities and scheduling time to respond to messages.
- Measurable: You will track how long you take to respond to messages for a month.
- Attainable: The goal is achievable if you can identify and address any time-wasting habits.
- Relevant: This is relevant to your career and personal growth as it’ll help you communicate more efficiently.
- Time-based: You will set a time frame of one month to achieve this goal.
7. Practice Public Speaking
SMART Goal: I want to improve my public speaking skills by rehearsing my speech 10 times within two weeks. I will try to memorize my speech and stay more engaged with the audience.
- Specific: For this smart goal, the individual has specified actions they can take to improve their public speaking skills.
- Measurable: The goal is measurable because it states the person will rehearse their speech 10 times in two weeks.
- Attainable: It is realistic for the person to memorize their speech and stay engaged with the audience.
- Relevant: This goal is relevant since it will help the person boost their communication abilities.
- Time-based: You have two weeks to accomplish this goal.
8. Stop Using Filler Words
SMART Goal: Over the next four months, I would like to reduce the number of times I use filler words in my speech by 30%. I want to sound more eloquent by avoiding fluff words, such as “I think,” “like,” and “um.”
- Specific: You have the specific action using fewer filler words during conversations to sound more eloquent.
- Measurable: You can track the number of times you use filler words in a day, week, or month. Alternatively, you could ask people close to you to give honest feedback on whether they’ve noticed an improvement.
- Achievable: The person doesn’t need to completely remove filler words in speech. Minimizing the use of filler words by 30% is more doable.
- Relevant: This goal is relevant because it allows you to enhance your communication.
- Time-based: You will give yourself a timeline of four months to attain this goal.
9. Expand Your Vocabulary
SMART Goal: I’ll expand my vocabulary by learning 10 new words every week for three months. I will try using resources like books and dictionaries to find and learn brand-new terms.
- Specific: This goal is clear and concise. You know precisely what you need to do: learn 10 new words every week.
- Measurable: There are specific metrics to track progress. In this case, it’s the number of new words learned weekly.
- Attainable: Given the deadline, the goal statement is realistic and achievable.
- Relevant: This relates to the person’s needs and interests in being a better communicator.
- Time-based: You have an expected end date of three months for goal attainment.
10. Support Transparency
SMART Goal: By the end of one month, I will be transparent with my communication so that other people will trust me. I’ll give my honest opinion and thoughts whenever others ask for verbal feedback.
- Specific: The goal is specific because you encourage transparency through honesty and trust.
- Measurable: You would check how often you provide honest opinions when asked for feedback.
- Attainable: Being transparent and honest with your thoughts is absolutely doable.
- Relevant: Transparency could foster trust, which eases conversations between people.
- Time-based: There’s a one-month deadline for meeting this goal.
Improving your communication skills is a long process. But setting SMART goals for yourself will make that process less complicated.
Naturally, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, and what works for you may not work for others. But the idea is to experiment and find what suits you.
From expressing yourself clearly to being a better listener, you can focus on plenty of areas to boost your communication skills.
Give a couple of these SMART goals a try in your own daily life. You might notice fewer instances where you stumble upon your words.
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