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Communicating Expectations Personally and Professionally

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Reminded this week of the importance of communicating expectations upfront to avoid conflict and creating long-term relationship issues.  One personal and one business example…

Personal: Oldest daughter comes home from college for the first time last weekend. Got her literary for her Saturday arrival and what she wanted me to cook for her that night since she was spending the afternoon with her boyfriend that is going to school locally, going to see first and has to be at work at 4:30. OK, feelings a wee bit hurt that she is not coming straight home and run to the arms of DADDDYYY like she did when she was a toddler but I get it and think I did the same thing when I was 18. Once she made it home we were discussing her plans for the evening which included spending the night at a friend’s or maybe at her boyfriend’s house, not really sure.  Well, guess what, I was sure of something, she’s staying HERE for the night.  Pulled the daddy’s money trump card that looked something like, “As long as I am supporting you financially, you stay in my house when you are in town.” She was clearly disappointed as she seems to think she is old enough to adult with her boyfriend when she isn’t adult enough to pay her own bills. Nice Try! Unfortunately, I had disrupted her and her boyfriend’s plans for the evening but now the expectations are communicated, it should be smooth sailing from here on future visits, right?  We’ll see. 

Business: Business owner wants to hire better blue collar labor than what he has now.  The team isn’t executing well and by his assessment is very subpar.  Their pay matches their skill & performance level and is below market but it makes sense as they are below average employees.  So we work together to write an ad to attract above average employees. To get better fish, you need better bait. ESPECIALLY in the current labor market which is a very dry pool of quality laborers. The good ones have jobs and the bad ones that want to work, have jobs too. Our strategy is to take the good ones from someone else by paying above average wages. But wait, we have an issue with existing employees that have been there for a while and we are advertising for workers at a higher rate of pay than they have now.  To avoid a mutiny the solution is…communicating expectations. I advised the owner to make a list of things that he expects from a $14 per hour worker, a $15 per hour worker, a $16 per hour worker…  From there meet with each of these employees and let them know that they have an opportunity to earn more if they are worth more to the organizations by meeting these standards on a consistent basis.  Unfortunately,  up until now, these standards aren’t being met as they are unclear to all and not been communicated.

How well are you communicating your expectations personally & professionally?  What kind of impact is that having on your results? Relationships?  Happiness?   I’ve been reminded this week that people can’t read my mind and fulfill my expectations if they don’t know what they are.

Coach Reggie

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