Studies are conflicted on whether you are more or less likely to successfully reach goals if you articulate those goals to others. While Derek Sivers asserts that you should keep your goals to yourself, others people like David Mizne and Lisa Evans argue that sharing them provides positive reinforcement that motivates you to continue towards your goals. I've seen firsthand that good things come from declaring your goals, especially those who support you, like your virtual assistant. Articulating goals to your assistant is a simple way to create a connection and begin to build a deeper relationship. It fosters open communication and trust, and it creates a context to keep you and your assistant in step.
Here are 4 benefits of sharing your goals with your assistant.
1. It Puts You in a Focused Mindset
Beyond the desire to “get productive” and blindly declare that you need help, sharing your goals shows that you are self-aware. You know exactly what you need, when, and why. Giving your assistant this information does two things. First, this information enlightens them with contextual details on you and your business. This, then, empowers them to better support you. It’s said that “knowledge is power”: armed with a better understanding of your business, they can provide suggestions and take more directed action to more effectively help you attain your goals.
2. It Affirms Your Commitment
Stating your goals in explicit detail affirms your commitment to both the goal and the process towards achieving it. According to Dr. Frank Niles: “When we visualize our desired outcome, we begin to ‘see’ the possibility of achieving . . . our ‘preferred future.’ When this happens, we are motivated and prepared to pursue our goal.” In addition to your own personal motivation, it provides your assistant with a glimpse into your desired longer-term direction, as well as what’s important to you and your thought process around prioritization.
3. It Shows You’re Investing in Your Assistant
Explicating your goals shows a willingness to put yourself out there and a desire to involve your assistant in your journey towards your definition of success. This authentic transparency fosters trust and implies that you’re committed to building a strong, longer-term relationship with your assistant. Furthermore, this information can empower them by serving as both an impetus for innovative recommendations from your assistant and inspiration for them to tackle the task at hand.
4. It Focuses Your Support
You’ve hired this person for several reasons including their experience, skillset, values, and personality. Specifying what is important to you helps your assistant narrow their focus and know exactly which skills to leverage in order to most effectively support you to success. More importantly, your admission gives them the context behind tasks to be undertaken and informs them of the “why” or the reasoning behind the different projects or actions they complete.
Your support team or assistant strives to take action that amplifies you to success. Disclosing your goals unites you and your support with a single purpose: to achieve those goals. In the long run, this results in successfully attained goals, a growing business, and a productive relationship: a win-win for all parties involved.