How can a Goal Tree help you changing job? Part 4/5 – Self assess your current capabilities and color-code the Goal Tree

This is the fourth post of my series How can a Goal Tree help you changing job? Part 3 focused on listing the sequence of prerequisites that need to be fulfilled in order to achieve your target. The outcome of the phases described in Part 1 to 3 is your Goal Tree. Such a Goal Tree is a benchmark that we want to turn into a roadmap.

Turning the Goal Tree into a roadmap

How far are you from your Goal? What needs to be done to achieve it, and in what sequence do you need to work your way up to achieving your Goal?

In order to understand your actual situation against the benchmark (the Goal Tree), it is necessary to evaluate each necessary condition, which are mostly required capabilities, skills, knowledge, credentials and the like.

Starting from bottom, assess your current capabilities and color-code them using the 3-color code.

The 3-color code

For any purpose, once a Goal Tree is completed, I recommend to assess each Necessary Condition (NC) for its status and make that status immediately visible with the 3 Green / Amber / Red colors:

  • Green is the status when the prerequisite is achieved, available, secured, granted.
  • Red is the status when the Necessary Condition is not fulfilled. It may be something missing, something not yet addressed, something which is not mastered or which failed.
  • Amber is somewhat in between status used when the Necessary Condition is not perfectly or completely fulfilled, unstable or variable.

For our personal Goal Tree, built to help change from current job to another one, the Necessary Conditions will translate into capabilities, skills, knowledge, etc. In this case you can change the code to:

  • Green: I master or fully comply to the requirement. I’m comfortable and ready to be challenged.
  • Red: I have no credential, lack the required skills or do not have the necessary knowledge
  • Amber: I am not totally  at ease, do not master perfectly, lack some experience, practice, etc.

Start at the bottom at the Tree and use the rule of color propagation: a requirement cannot have a more favorable color (status) than the related underlying Necessary Conditions.

In other words, Red and amber propagate the easiest from bottom to top, which means that as long as very basic requirements are not met, no way to achieve higher requirements.

Don’t overstate, don’t underestimate

Now, this self-assessment is for you only (unless you’d like to share it or have someone else assess you). It is meant to help you get clarity about your readiness regarding the achievement of your Goal. Therefore don’t overstate neither underestimate your skills and abilities.

Being too optimistic or complacent can lead to hard landing when facing reality. Being too severe and underestimating skills and abilities may add unnecessary stress or undermine the willingness to face the challenge.

Color your Tree and check the next post of this series to check how to read the colored Tree.


About the author, Chris HOHMANN

About the author, Chris HOHMANN

View Christian HOHMANN's profile on LinkedIn

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