Several authors have accentuated the importance of well formed goals in solution-focused practice (for instance De Shazer, 1991; DeJong & Berg, 2008). So given my special interest in goals (and my belief that it is often wise to challenge what I think I know) I was interested to come across this blog post at The situationist: The downside of goal setting. One article mentioned in that post drew my attention in particular: Goals Gone Wild. The authors of this article acknowledge that goals can produce positive results but say that the challenging character of goals can also cause them to 'go wild': 1) When goals are too specific, 2) When goals are too narrow, 3) When there are too many goals, 4) When an inappropriate time horizon is used, and 5) When goals are too challenging. Goals gone wild can lead to: 1) excessive risk taking, 2) unethical behavior, 3) negative psychological consequences in the case of goal failure, 4) inhibited learning and cooperation, 5) a culture of competition, and 6) harmed motivation. The authors call for a use of goals with careful dosing, consideration of harmful side effects, and close supervision.
As always, comments about how any of this maybe useful (and other comments) are welcome.