Is your team meeting your expectations? If so, I applaud you. But if expectations are unmet and your belief is people should just do their job – good luck with that. My observation is that most managers fall somewhere in the middle. You don’t expect everyone just to do their job because people need direction. But it would be nice if the team met positive expectations. The 7 steps to the art of setting effective expectations can help.

What Can I Do When My Team Isn’t Meeting my Expectations?

I was chatting with a manager recently when he told me that his team wasn’t getting the job done. They weren’t meeting his expectations. I asked if the team was given clear expectations and he said yes. Then I asked him if he’d ever thought or said, “That’s not how I would’ve done it!” “I can’t believe it took them so long!” or “What were they thinking!?” He said. “Well sure, hasn’t every manager uttered something similar at one time or another?” I told him he was probably right. However, he needed to consider the message behind those statements. When a manager makes statements like the three above, they need to take a hard look at how expectations were given.

  • If your first thought is that’s not how I would’ve done it. Ask yourself, “Do they know how you would do it?”
  • If you’re upset over how much time a project took, did you set a timetable?
  • If you don’t know what they were thinking, ask yourself, did you share what you were thinking regarding the project?

7 Steps to the Art Setting Effective Expectations

  1. Don’t assume your team knows what you expect. Make certain they know your expectations.
  2. Have the person or team repeat your expectations back to you.
  3. Set realistic expectations.
  4. Give your team the training and tools they need to meet your expectations.
  5. Share your authority with your team so they can procure the resources they need.
  6. Follow up throughout the project to ensure the team is on track.
  7. Recognize positive behaviors and results.

The next time you’re disappointed when your team or a teammate didn’t meet your expectations look at the seven steps above and ask yourself, “Did I set expectations they could meet?”

How Can I help You?

I like to help people and organizations, but I have three criteria I consider before taking an assignment – I believe in what the organization stands for, I know I can help, and it looks like fun. If you have any questions, Contact Me. 

Does your business have a  management training plan? Many organizations, large and small, use my book, The New Manager’s Workbook a crash course in effective management, as the basis for their leadership development program. Check it out.

Photo by Dylan Gillis on Unsplash