Co-defining an objective for progress

An objective has all the more chances of being reached, if it originates from a process of co-construction where the manager and the co-worker define a shared vision of the expected result. How do you make this vision emerge and give it substance?
Start from a shared observation
An objective for progress implies the recognition of a situation to be changed, in order to arrive at a result. Clearly formulating this assessment and most importantly agreeing upon it is an essential first step: What is unsatisfactory in the current situation? What are the consequences of this? What should we try to change? What is our aim?
Questions that point to the meaning of the change that is expected.       
Define together, as concretely as you can, what's expected
One avenue of reflection: "What would lead us to say, for example in 3 months, that there has been progress?" It is in this way a process of determining, sometimes step by step, the observable results. Concrete results that will then serve as material for observation and discussion.       
Project yourselves into the process
Going from the current result to the expected one will require that the co-worker apply new resources. We know that the 'just need to's, 'why don't you's are counter-productive. The need rather is to accompany the co-worker in his reflection: What is the first stage of progress that he imagines? What are the obstacles? What will be helpful to him? What will he try out? How will he evaluate its impact?       
Each question has only one correct response, but be careful: among the possible responses there is one that is "almost correct" and might make the choice harder!
1 / 3   An objective which comes from the employee
You ask your employee what objective he would like to fix for the coming year. He says "I don’t know, that's your job". What do you say to this?
It's also your role to see what needs improving
This reply risks freezing up the employee because it puts pressure on him to "find something", which won't help him reflect 
The first objective I'm setting you is to "respect each item on the quality control charter..."
By providing an immediate response, we will miss out on the response of the employee! It would be better to reformulate the question and wait for a reply
Of course, defining an objective together is not so common...Is there something you do where you say to yourself "I could do it better»?   
A realistic question, which can help the employee to see a way of progressing. But if you don' try to find out what's bothering him by this approach, there's a risk he may be reticent and uncooperative
Of course, defining an objective together is not so common… What's bothering you by this approach?
Getting him to explain what the problem is is necessary to be able to open a constructive discussion. We could then ask the question "is there something you do where you say to yourself "I could do that better?"
2 / 3   Situating yourself in regards to the proposed objective
You have raised the following point of development with Jack : "increase communication with the other departments" and he proposes "having lunch once a month with a colleague from another department". What do you say to him?     
That’s a good idea; it will be easier to work with your colleague if you know him better
Precipitated! Having lunch one a month with a colleague won't necessarily mean that this will improve communication  
Of course, this is a way of getting to know new colleagues... but when you say "communicate more", what's the objective?
We need to know what the objective is. More communication is not everything. Depending on the expected result, we can define an objective (reduce response time, improve the quality of handling the files ...), and what's needed to achieve it.
Why not, but simply having lunch one a month with a colleague isn't enough!
At this stage, this is not the main concern. Firstly, it’s a question of knowing what the objective is.
This is an interesting objective, who are you going to contact first?
The question makes sense but will be more relevant once we know the objective
3 / 3   Why construct together?
What is the advantage of constructing an objective together?   
The employee will reach it without difficulty.
The employee will be more motivated if he has thought of the objective himself but reaching will depend on the way the objective has been formulated (SMART or not), the means of setting up, regular follow ups etc
Being implicated in the formulation of the objective, gives the employee the impression that we are interested in what he thinks. He will, therefore, be more engaged.
Probably. But this impression is not enough to produce a sustainable effect
The employee knows better than anyone else where he wants to succeed and what he needs to do to achieve it.
If a climate of confidence is installed, the employee will express where he wants to succeed, what he would like to learn/achieve, and this can be a powerful tool
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