Be Accountable for Setting and Receiving Clear Expectations | FOW #15

woman giving a presentation to colleagues

Make sure your expectations are clear and what people hear is what you are asking. Be clear about what’s expected of you.

I’m certain each one of us, at some point, has been frustrated to receive effort and work from our team that does not meet our expectations and/or does not serve the objective.

I’m equally certain you’ve found yourself working hard towards what you believed was a shared goal, only to find much of your work useless, as you misunderstood the end goal.

Both situations happened more than once in my management career prior to joining Momentum Consulting and each time, it was my fault.

As a leader, it is your role to not only establish a vision but to ensure that you and your team agree on and understand the path to that vision. There are obvious means to clarify expectations: establishing or installing a system of weekly goals with checkpoints, written action items summarizing meetings and requesting each team member parrot back to you what they understand their next steps to be.

But is that enough?

The key to setting and clarifying expectations lies not just in repetition but in understanding. When establishing the overarching vision, as well as its milestone objectives, it is your responsibility to ensure that your team truly understands. You’ve hired smart people; if they share your understanding of the vision and objectives, they’ll get there. Open that meeting up, encourage questions, objections, and discussions. Time spent on the front end making absolutely certain everyone understands and buys into the objective and your expectations of their – and your – contribution to that objective will save considerable time which might have been wasted on misdirected effort and do-overs.

Great leadership takes practice. It also necessitates more than a few mistakes before we get it right! I’m sure you can think of a few examples of misunderstood objectives from which you’ve learned. I would very much like to hear about your particular method for establishing shared expectations; please comment below with your thoughts.

All the best,


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