Researchers of a new study have opined that an individual's view of personal goals can affect his/her relationships.
How you think about your goals-whether it's to improve yourself or to do better than others-can affect whether you reach those goals. Different kinds of goals can also have distinct effects on your relationships with people around you.
AdvertisementPeople with 'mastery goals' want to improve themselves. Maybe they want to get better grades, make more sales, or land that triple toe loop.
On the other hand, people with what psychologists call 'performance goals' are trying to outperform others-to get a better grade than a friend or be Employee of the Year. Both kinds of goals can be useful in different contexts.
But P. Marijn Poortvliet, of Tilburg University in the Netherlands, and C?line Darnon, of France's Clermont University, are interested in the social context of these goals-what they do to your relationships.
"People with performance goals are more deceitful. The reason is fairly obvious-when you want to outperform others, it doesn't make sense to be honest about information, " said Peertvliet.
On the other hand, people who are trying to improve themselves are quite open.
"If the ultimate goal is to improve yourself, one way to do it is to be very cooperative with other people. This can help improve the work environment, even though the people with these goals aren't necessarily thinking about social relations. They're not really altruists, per se. They see the social exchange as a means toward the ends of self improvement," he added.
Other research has found that people with these self-improvement goals are more open to hearing different perspectives, while people with a performance goal "would rather just say, 'I'm just right and you are wrong'."
Poorvielt also said that it's not always bad to be competitive. Some people are naturally more competitive than others. But it's also possible for managers to shift the kinds of goals people have by, for example, giving a bonus for the best employee. That might encourage people to set performance goals and compete against each other. On the other hand, it would also be possible to structure a bonus program to give people rewards basedon their individual improvement over time.
The paper was published in a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
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