The following article highlights the importance of visioning in goal setting and explains how its related concepts can contribute to personal/team and organizational achievement, in particular during the recession.
Vision setting is a key strategy in the achievement of your goals. A goal is a dream with a deadline, people with goals move ahead, people without goals work with people with goals, Brian Tracey.
A vision is a statement of intention, the manifestation and desired end result or outcome of our desires.
A vision is also a motivational tool. Management theorists describe two theories of motivation: content theories and process theories. Content theories describe what motivates us and process theories describe how we are motivated. Visioning sits with process theories, it’s a strategy to motivate us.
Visioning also has links to religious, faith and cultural beliefs. In Christianity heaven could be described as a vision of the ideal outcome after death. For believers it’s about their own personal vision of heaven or its anti thesis hell. In theory for a believer the desire to achieve the manifestation of their vision in heaven acts as a motivator for their behaviour on earth.
Individuals who believe in cosmic ordering also believe that your vision is your statement of your desires and in order to achieve your vision you have to articulate it and tell “the universe” what you really want. The principle behind it is that individuals believe that they can use their desires to connect with the “cosmos” and make their desires a reality. The Right Reverend Carl Cooper rejects cosmic ordering as nonsense, though interestingly he describes it as goal setting using spiritual language.
Visioning is our first strategy, the foundation on which the journey towards our goal takes place. It is also a key performance indicator (KPI) in relation to the achievement of our goal. A vision is also a measuring tool.
In his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey says that we should start with the end in mind. We should begin with the vision.
Leadership theorists such as Follett and Peters have emphasised the importance of visioning in leadership Vision 20 performance. Coaching gurus such as David Rock highlight the importance of visioning for individuals in the goal setting process of coaching.
Visioning is a strategy by which we can communicate our dreams and desires both internally to ourselves and also to others.
Take a few moments to describe your vision in an area of your life that matters to you, eg. Relationships, finances, career
How effective were you at describing this vision?
Was your vision clear?
If we were to question what we do when we don’t have a vision, many of us would agree that we go through the motions, we undertake activities habitually and often waste: time, energy and resources with no clear purpose.
I’ve done this on occasions at the weekend, I’ve had a vague vision about taking a break, getting some fresh air, going shopping or taking a wander and not known clearly where or what I want to do to achieve this. It’s quite disconcerting, not having a route map, how do you plan your journey? Which way do you turn at the junction, right, left or do you go straight on? When will you know that you have reached your desired destination?
The benefits of creating a clear vision mean that: you have a tool to motivate and inspire you on your journey, the end point is clear; you can measure your achievement and articulate your vision to others when required.
Can you easily articulate your vision to others?
A clear vision is one which you can easily articulate. Men and women of great historical importance have influenced others by clearly articulating their vision. Martin Luther King expressed his vision for equality and civil rights in America with his “I have a dream speech”. He used the term dream and as such our visions are our dreams until we put strategies in place to make them a reality.
If a vision were to be described as a plant it would be the root and also the flower. A vision could be described as a foundation, the outcome, the manifestation of growth, nurture, hardiness and nourishment. In the plant world, weeds grow in most places irrespective of the conditions. Other blooms, such as lilies take more nurture, effort and care to yield results.
In the same way an inspiring vision requires: nurture, care, effort and nourishment over a period of time to come into full bloom. An inspiring vision will rarely thrive if it is left to it’s own devices.
10 steps to creating a vision and releasing the inner child
1. Allow yourself to be childlike
Our brains are divided into three areas, leading to three types of intelligence: our rational brain (IQ), our emotional brain or emotional intelligence and our spiritual brain or spiritual intelligence.
Our rational intelligence (IQ) is clearly under developed in childhood. Our emotional intelligence (EI) which is concerned with the management of our emotions and the emotions of others is also developing, though Danile Goldman in his book Emotional Intelligence, reported high degrees of emotional intelligence and empathy in toddlers.
It is possible that our spiritual intelligence is at its natural peak during childhood and declines as our rational intelligence develops. Spiritual intelligence is related to that part of the brain which allows us to hope and dream and visualise. For many children nothing is impossible in their vivid imaginations, it is easy to be transported to a dream world at the drop of a hat. In this dream world we can believe without evidence in concepts and people that exist within the power of our imagination.
2. Create a conducive environment
Time, space and focus are essential for creating a vision.
Ensure that you won’t be interrupted by any communication from anyone not involved in your visioning process. Take some time to take deep breathes both in and out before the process takes place. The act of breathing in oxygen and breathing out carbon monoxide helps to clear and focus your brain and inject some energy to support the thinking and visualisation process.
3. Think about what you want, as opposed to what you don’t want
Visions should be set in a positive context as opposed to a negative. Visions should depict what you want to happen as opposed to what you don’t want to happen. This works by using positive visualisation as opposed to negative reinforcement. For example, if a woman wanted to lose weight so that she could fit into her dream wedding dress, it would be more motivating to create a vision of what she wanted to look like rather than what she didn’t want to look like. The former will encourage positive feelings of encouragement, while the latter uses negative reinforcement.