Clear Expectations

As you approach 2023 what expectations do you have? What do you expect from yourself, your colleagues, those you lead? Expectations of ourselves can sometimes lead to disappointment. On the other hand they can stretch you to achieve far more than you thought possible. As you enter a new year what is your vision for you and your team? Vision is linked to your expectation, it is what you expect to see happen. It should be something that you are convinced about and something that attracts others. The key question to answer as you lead is: am I clear in communicating my expectations to the team?

As a leader your expectation of others can be a barrier to high performance in your team. When those you lead don’t understand what you expect it leads to assumptions being made. When those you lead are not clear on your expectations it will lead to confusion, misunderstanding, and the reality of ineffective communication.

“If you are building a culture where honest expectations are communicated and peer accountability is the norm, then the group will address poor performance and attitudes.” Henry Cloud

Expectations must be clearly communicated so that those you lead can deliver what you want rather than what they think you want. This avoids delay and fear of not meeting your expectations.

3 Key things About Expectation

1. Expect more of yourself than others.

You can’t expect more of others than you expect of yourself. The bar for performance and success needs to be set by you. Leadership is weighty, not just the authority you carry but the burden of expectation on you as you lead. When you have a clear vision of where you are going and what it will take to get there, you can manage that expectation. Clarity on where you are going means others can see what you see and are attracted to the vision you have. Some of what others expect of you is not yours to carry, clarity of vision enables you to carry what you need to get there and to recognise what is legitimate and what should rightly be rejected.

2. Make sure others can see that you walk your talk.

When I think about this I remember when my children were small. Some of the things particularly my son would do. I would sometimes wonder where he had picked up the behaviour he was exhibiting. My wife helped me to understand he had picked it up from me. As you lead remember more is caught than taught. As you lead model the behaviour you expect to see. The leader sets the culture. When what you expect is measured in some way then members of the team will understand that these expectations are of value and need to be followed.

3. Be clear on what you expect from those you lead, and why.

A lack of clarity leads to confusion this means delays as people work out what you want. Delivery on time and in the manner, you want requires clarity. When you delegate something as a leader make sure you are clear about what you expect otherwise in reality you are abdicating rather than delegating. What is the outcome you are after? Being clear means both you and your team member are on the same page. Ask questions to check for understanding. Remember that communication has not occurred until the person has received and understood the message you are looking to convey. To avoid misunderstanding take the time to ascertain this.

“Expectations are resentments waiting to happen.” Brené Brown

This process will make your expectations visible. Some expectations of yourself and others will be unrealistic. Some you may not be consciously aware of, so do yourself and those around you a favour and surface what you want done and the way you would like it done and do an honest evaluation. Get clarity. Those around you will thank you for it.

Have a great New Year.

Mark Billage

Mark Billage

Mark’s passion is to help realise individuals’ potential, be they leaders or team members, through empowering organisational culture. He has spent 7 years leading an organisation based in the non profit sector. In that time, he focused on creating a culture that enabled and empowered individuals, with the aim of seeing a high performing team better able to achieve the organisation’s mission.

Our Vision

To train and equip leaders to transform culture, build successful teams and organisations where everyone is seen, heard and valued for their unique contribution.

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