“It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing” Duke Ellington
SWING outcome setting
If your SMART goal is quite large or demanding, I recommend that you break it down into smaller outcomes.
Getting quick wins is often key to sustained success. You might use this now if your SMART goal is suitable, or you might return to this after you have put together your action plan and identified several smaller outcomes that will together achieve your SMART goal.
The SWING Outcome template is one of the most important templates I use as a Professional Leadership Caddy. Its principle use is to establish the specific outcomes desired by a client through your coaching and mentoring. Of course, you may be using this several times throughout the engagement.
The template is also powerfully used for Goal Setting – usually longer term goals that indicate what specific outcomes, behaviour changes or mindset shifts that the client will need through your engagement with them.
The last section of the SWING template guarantees motivation to change.
Using this tool
Start the process with this question:
If there was one thing, that if you were to change it, would have the greatest impact on your performance, what would it be?
Specific outcome. Establish this as a specific outcome that is measurable (by the five senses) and is something to move towards achieving. Choosing an outcome that is something to not do in the future needs to be reframed, for example, “what do you want instead… ?” Establish a clearly defined, sensory outcome and check for congruence.
What will I win? There must be payoffs or benefits to achieving the outcome for you. What are they?
What will it cost? Every outcome demands some payment, occasionally, this will cost money, and it will always cost time, effort, willpower, strength and commitment. Often you can uncover another behavioural change that is necessary before this one is viable (such as “discipline‟).
In Control? This establishes what the individual personally controls, and who or what else the individual needs to either control, or gain support.
For example, I am able to control my temper (it is my reaction), but I am not in control of the circumstances (or people) that may trigger my temper reaction. Many people need the empathy and support of those closest to them. Any significant behavioural change, do advise clients that partners may be involved and should be informed.
Now. “Step into the future, having achieved your outcome, please tell me, what you have now achieved?” Prompt yourself that this includes noticing all the sensory results identified above. Some people struggle with this, so try starting your sentence: “I am now…”.
Guarantee. This is a powerful series of Cartesian logic questions that force an unconscious response and ensure ecology and congruence.
Please do not try to make sense out of these questions. Just ask yourself and respond. If you struggle to respond, just repeat the question. Note down whatever comes to mind when you read the question. The response itself is not relevant here; the enforced unconscious processing is the intent.
Download the template here