Recent events in my personal life have, once again, reminded me of the importance of clearly established expectations… Especially if you are in a leadership role.
We are all culprits of not setting clear expectations from time-to-time. It’s inevitable. BUT if you lead others, your clarity and communication regarding your expectations is vital. When we aren’t clear, the people we lead don’t know how to win. AND they don’t know how to lose. There’s no clear line. Without clarity, people will make up what they think is acceptable behavior and performance. If that’s the case and you haven’t been clear, than their failure to deliver is your responsibility, not theirs.
We cannot hold someone accountable for something we have not clearly communicated. When we do hold people to an expectation we haven’t communicated we run the risk of losing trust, creating confusion, fear and even disengagement within our team. The burden of clarity is held by the communicator, not the receiver.
To set clear expectations, ensure you include the following:
- A clear definition of success
- A clear method for winning
- A clear example of what winning looks like
- What NOT meeting the expectation may look like
- Benchmarks or measurables to determine success
- Tools to ensure support
- Clear consequences for not meeting the expectation
- Confirmation of understanding for all of the above
When our people fail, the first place to look is to the expectations that were set. Ask yourself if you met the outlined criteria. If you didn’t, you contributed to the miss. If you did, hold the consequence.
We cannot assume that people can read our minds, know our intentions or see things as we do.
Clarity and communication are key. Do you agree??