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In my coaching sessions so far this week, the topic of Setting Expectations has come up several times. It usually starts with, “So-and-so didn’t do what I expected again.” My first question is almost always, “Are you sure he/she knew what you expected?” The typical answer is “I think so…I told him/her a couple times.” Does this pattern sound or look familiar to you? Are you getting tired of this conversation yet?
In order to get the results we need from our teams, we need to have multiple conversations (not talking TO or AT them, but talking WITH them) about expectations, both yours and theirs. You need to mutually agree on the goals or outcomes to be achieved, how these will be measured or observed, and when the outcomes are scheduled to be completed. Only then can you fairly expect your team to “meet your expectations”!
The last key to successfully setting expectations (and having them met) is setting up the reporting process. Will you be checking in, or do you expect them to report in? How often, and what, will they report to you? Start with you checking on them, then move to them reporting to you. Initially, more frequent check-ins might be needed as you help them earn the right to be checked on less often. This is real leadership, not management, and it is what separates the winners from the losers in the end.
Be the Leader your team needs and deserves!
Author: Mark McNulty, Business Coach in Louisville, KY