As leaders, we strive for greatness, we strive to engage our team, and we strive for our team’s greatness. A huge part of this process is learning our to manage expectations. This is probably one of the most underrated leadership skills out there. Who knows… maybe if more people utilized this technique, we would lose a lot of the day to day drama we tend to face. The whole point of this is to realize our capacity for better communication, organization, and facilitation in regards to navigating the incredibly difficult waters of the business. Janine Popick from Inc.com wrote three incredibly practical tips on this very subject of how to manage our expectations.
“Make No Assumptions” Unless you are some incredibly powerful mind reading genius, this is important to remember. Making assumptions can seriously damage your relationship with your team and the project you’re working on. Never assume that both you and someone else are automatically on the same page– most of the time, you’re not. Make sure that are explicit in your directions and time frame or you might be disappointed with the end goal. And then nobody’s happy. Just don’t do it! Save everyone a lot of time and have an open and CLEAR conversation about what is needed.
“Communicate, Communicate, Communicate” Conversation and communication are absolutely vital in managing our expectations. Frequent communication will go a long way in keeping up with expected endeavors. As leaders, it’s our job to go above and beyond in order to achieve what we hope to achieve– that means creating an open space for discussion. Everyone wants to feel heard and when you give your team a place to discuss solutions, they will work even harder to complete the work with pride. Be proactively honest and transparent!
“Pushing Back is Ok” The whole point of managing our expectations is the actual expectation, yes? First off, you have to be okay with that expectation… is it reasonable and achievable? If it isn’t, you SHOULD push back. The trick to this, according to Popick, is to so “in a way that balances the organization’s needs and the team’s abilities.” Being open about what the plan is and how to go about it can go a long way. Once you’ve accomplished the art of the pushback, you’ve done it! You’ve mastered managing your expectations.
See, it’s simple really! It just takes some patience and communication and you’re on your way to keeping up with your end goals.