The Importance of Setting Expectations

Let’s talk for a minute on setting expectations. I think with setting expectations needs to come setting boundaries, and well so we’re talking about the setting expectations portion first. So by that I mean making sure that you’re clearing your communication. With people, most of us think we do that, come to find out most of us don’t do that very well at all. How many times have you got into a meeting with a group of people and you say here’s what I want to have happen and you know what I mean, right? And they all nod their heads—they all know what you mean but the information they get back to you is completely different a week later of what you thought you had asked for—which you were very clear that you would ask for. So here’s the key to that… “Communication is what they hear, not what you say.” Keep that in mind. So how do you clarify that? Well, if I’m going to give people my directive, I tell them the things that we want to have done what I want to do is go back to each of them and say, “okay what did you understand?” as opposed to “you understand me, right?” They’ll say yes and they won’t [understand]. What is it? What you understand? What are your next steps? What help do you need? And get the story coming back from them. At that point, if there is a misunderstanding you have a chance to clear that up, but if there’s not, what you’ll find out is that you really know that they understand. What it is that you are looking for versus nodding their heads in agreement and that they’re going to get to deliver you something that you didn’t think about.