Introducing GRASP – A New Model for Goal Management

Introducing GRASP – A New Model for Goal Management

Update – Brett used this model as the foundation for a speech competition hosted by Toastmasters and won second place in the area finals – here’s the video!  Congratulations Brett – nice to see you make this your own and even nicer to see you achieve your goal!

Now back to the article:

OK, I know – we need another acronym like a hole in the head. But this one came to me in the car the other day and I really liked it. I’d love to hear what you think and whether it resonates with you…

We’ve all heard of SMART goals – I talked about them in a previous post so go ahead and refresh your memory if you need to – I’ll wait right here.

In addition you may have heard of the GROW model which is a coaching construct. It stands for:

Goals
Reality (technically it stands for “current Reality” but the R in GROW makes more sense this way)
Options
Will

The idea is that you can use this model to talk to a client or an employee about their journey toward their goals. By recognizing where they are now (current Reality), reviewing their Options (and helping them brainstorm new options), and then leveraging their Will or commitment to the task, you can facilitate an action plan. To me, this model has always been flawed. It’s missing what I consider the most important aspect of successful goal management – the key component of achieving your toughest goals – your support network. So today I’d like to introduce GRASP.

According to the official dictionary definition, to grasp something is to take hold of it, either physically or intellectually. When we say that we grasp a point, it means we really get it. Your grasp is what you can truly take hold of as opposed to what you can just touch. Or to put it poetically:

A man’s reach should exceed his grasp or what’s a heaven for?

-Robert Browning

So here’s how it goes:

Goal – A defined goal is one of the most powerful tools you can leverage on behalf of your own success. Being able to clearly envision the end result you seek, to the point that it becomes embedded in your consciousness and drives your every action is the key to its achievement. If you doubt it, watch the Olympics tonight. Each one of those athletes has gone to bed every night with a vision of themselves at the finish line or on the podium with a medal in hand. And you can bet that medal is neither silver nor bronze.

Resources – Rarely (and I mean EXTREMELY rarely) you can achieve a goal all by yourself with no tools and no help. The rest of the time you need to apply resources to your pursuit. Maybe it’s training, maybe it’s a physical tool, and maybe it’s a mentor. Seeking out and engaging the right resources at the right time will make the difference between climbing to the top of Mount Everest and sitting at the bottom with nothing but a dream.

Action Plan – Seeing the goal clearly is great, but it doesn’t get you there. A plan of action is a carefully considered roadmap of short and long term behaviors that you will engage in to help move you toward your destination. I can’t stress how important it is to write down this plan. Adjust it when and where necessary, include milestones and share it with your team. And speaking of your team…

Support Group – No one goes it alone. Even the brightest of visionaries have support. Does this mean you need to hire a team of assistants? Absolutely not. Engage your network. Make your goal public. Share your progress with your friends and supporters. In the pursuit of any goal there will be roadblocks – lack of inspiration, setbacks, days when you just want to put the whole thing down and go farm tomatoes instead. Your support group is your team of personal cheerleaders. Don’t just have them, call them regularly. Let them help you get back up on the horse if you fall off. Let them hold you accountable for meeting your own ambitious targets.

Purpose – The final aspect of a successful endeavor is a compelling purpose. No one works this hard just for the fun of it. Success can be a gritty, dirty job at times, and without a strong and inspiring ‘raison d’être’, the goal is just one more mountain to climb, one more chore to do.

GRASP – there it is. I would love to hear your thoughts – is this model missing any components? What are the factors you consider most important to achieving your goals? What helps you through the days when you want to quit?

2 Comments

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  • I LOVE this acronym! Thanks so much for sharing it. I loved it so much, I’ve even used it for the premise of my speech I’m doing in the Toastmasters International Speech Contest. (Full credit to you of course, along with a shameless plug for your book.)

    Brett Patterson Reply
    • Thanks Brett – glad you like it! I love Toastmasters and would be thrilled to be part of your speech. Good luck!

      Katy Reply

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