As I set this expectation, have I made sure that everyone has everything they need to be set up for success? That's gonna be really important, and that's gonna get you what you want and help your team members feel like, yes, I am here. I can do this. I feel supported, and be more engaged in the work and have better results.
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Welcome back to the show. Today we are talking about setting expectations again, because let's be honest, you can never be too clear when it comes to expectations. Because stuff comes up. People think one thing, you meant something else. And it can be really, really hard As a small business owner, as a manager in the corporate world, whatever role you're in, it can be tough.
If you feel like, well, I said this, why are people doing something else? And what I want you to think through today is setting expectations. It's not just telling people what to do. It's not just sending an email or making an announcement and thinking like, okay, like I said, hey, let's see, let's see this come together.
No, and, and I think the problem is a lot of us feel like things should be a little bit easier. People should just jump in and then we start feeling frustrated or maybe even resenting our team members when they're not just running with the ball. But because now we're all gonna collectively agree that we are, yes, we agree.
Setting positions is not just telling people what to do. Today I wanted to share three questions that we wanna ask ourselves to make sure we have been really clear on expectations. And then at the end of that, well now we can adjust and we can say, Hey, is it, you know, I don't have the right people in place.
Whatever it is, right? We, we don't wanna go to that sort of, Deciding it's the wrong people or they're, they're not right for the projects, or there's some bigger issue until we've been super clear. So we wanna take care of our own house first and really make sure, yep, I've done everything I can. And now we can start looking further out at what's actually getting in the way.
How do we set expectations clearly? First question is, what are my expectations? And this might seem like a silly, obvious thing to start with. But a lot of times we want something to happen, but we haven't fully thought through what we actually really do want or what that would look like. Take for example, everything going on with return to office.
Okay? There's a lot of confusion on teams. Is it three days a week? Is it really firm? Are you checking badge data? Could it just be Wednesday? There's all of these questions up in the air right now, and a lot of companies are starting to draw a harder line on it. But if a team member comes to you as a manager and says like, what are the expectations you'll wanna have thought first?
What actually do you want? Okay. You might say, well, you know, go with the company line, and that's fine. But you might also have a little bit of different expectations. You might say, well, actually, I'm okay with you just coming in Wednesday, or three days a week. One week, and then one week the next, whatever it is.
So you wanna have thought first, especially if there's an issue, like something like return to office that's kind of confusing or contentious right now, you really wanna be solidly understanding, okay, what are my expectations for small business owners? Something that comes up a lot is a business owner not wanting to feel like, well, they're the only person focused on growing the business, so they ha they want team members to be actively taking a role in that.
By asking ourselves, what are my expectations? You can think about, well, do I want employees to be cold calling or doing sales calls? Is it that I want my employees to be amplifying what we're doing on social media? Is it that I want them to be collecting referrals? You wanna figure out what your expectations are first before you say, Hey, everybody's gotta be bought into growing this business.
And people don't really know what you mean by that. That first question, what are my expectations? This lets you get your head around what you actually want so that you can then clearly communicate it. And that's our second question. Have I clearly communicated my expectations? And this is another one that may sound obvious, but it's something that we also often fall short on because maybe we sent one email or we made an announcement in a team meeting and we felt like, okay, it was like super clear.
I'm actually, I'm literally telling you like, do this thing. Go ahead. But. Everybody learns in different ways. Maybe people sort of got the gist of it, but didn't feel comfortable asking questions in that moment, and so they kind of like fizzled out with it. Whatever it is. We can always be more clear, especially if something's not getting done.
I mean, if the expectation's getting done and it's fine, like yeah, we've been clear, but these questions we wanna ask ourselves when people are getting stuck, when the things are not moving forward the way we want. So when something is getting stuck, the answer to, have I communicated it clearly, it's likely no.
And that's okay. It doesn't mean you did anything wrong. It's just an opportunity to be able to be more clear. Questions to ask ourself are like, was I specific enough? Did I give a timeframe? Let's go to that one about, uh, business owners wanting everybody collectively bought into growing the business.
Something, yeah, we all would love. Okay. That means have I communicated my expectations clearly? We might ask ourselves, talking about referrals. Have I said, Hey, I'd love everyone to try to get three referrals per month. That's a very clear expectation. Or, hey, when, when we post something on our Instagram stories to reshare it.
Okay. So I'd love folks to do that twice a week. Okay, that's a clear expectation if we're talking about return to office saying. Hey, Wednesdays are the day we wanna have all our team meetings. We really wanna make sure everyone's in office. Well, that's super clear. And then you showing up and doing that thing too.
Now you wanna also be modeling it. That's how you make expectations really clear by practicing what you preach. So this is how we make sure, yes, I've communicated them clearly. I've gotten really specific so that people know what to do. Last question we wanna ask ourselves is, are my people set up for success to meet these expectations?
This might be where you find, wait a second, I'm wanting people to do this thing. Let's go back to the example of, of growing my business, operating more from that sales mindset. But frankly, they haven't been trained on how to do that. They don't even really know what that looks like. In that situation, we might say, well, before I can have this expectation, I need to do some training.
I need to have my team meeting. Have conversations around what are examples of growing the business, how does each role fit into that so that everybody gets what we're talking about. With something like return to office, is the person able to meet it? Maybe they moved away and you need to create a plan for them to move back or whatever.
It looks like someone is not physically able to come in. Maybe they need an accommodation, and that's something that you want to figure out how to get approval for that or how to support that. We can't expect someone to meet the expedition if we haven't figured out, well actually, are they able to do that?
Do they have the support in place and is there something that I can better do to support that? So this last question is gonna make sure we don't just go, yeah, I know what they are and I've said it, but actually there's a real gap here. Same thing with, you know, if you've asked someone to be a lead on your team, right?
Someone, you want someone to step into this, be a manager, take on some more responsibility. This is a really important moment to ask. Have I set that person up for success? Do they have what they need? Because even clearly communicating, I want you to take this whole line of business, run with it. I really want you to be a leader here.
If that person feels like I need a little bit more support, it may be hard for that person to ask for that. Being proactive about thinking, okay, as I set this expectation, have I made sure that everyone has everything they need to be set up for success? That's gonna be really important and that's gonna get you what you want and help your team members feel like, yes, I am here.
I can do this. I feel supported, and be more engaged in the work and have better results. That is our lesson today. When we set expectations, it is not just telling people what to do. We know that doesn't work, and if it works, then you don't have to ask these questions. But when you hit that moment where you think, well, things aren't moving as smoothly as I'd want, or I thought I was super clear, but I'm not seeing the results I want.
That is when we ask ourself these three questions, what are my expectations? Have I communicated them clearly, and have I given people the right support so they can meet those expectations? When we answer these three questions and we go back through and we say, okay, let me start this over. Here's what I want, here's what I expect, and here's how I'm gonna support you.
When we do that, everybody's on the same page. The last thing we wanna do, we always wanna keep lines of communication open for feedback, saying, here's expectations. Saying, here's the expectations. Let's talk about it. Does this make sense? What questions do you have? What do you need? What support would you like?
Where are there gaps? Having a forum where people can ask those things, this is also gonna set you up for success because again, a lot of times we say something, everyone nods like, yeah, we're, we're good. We're fine if you don't leave that open door. And then they actually had all these questions, but they weren't really sure if they should ask him.
So as you set expectations you wanna have, okay, what questions do you have? What do you need? Let's talk about it before we run with it. Always creating that forum over and over and over so that you can catch those questions, see what some of the risks are, see where people are a little bit uneasy so that you can resolve those issues right away.
And from there you are good to go. See you next time. That's all I have for today. Thank you so much for tuning in to the Managing Made Simple podcast where my goal is to demystify the job of people management so that together we can make the workplace somewhere everyone can thrive. I always love to hear from you, so please reach out at liagarvin.com or message me on LinkedIn.
See you next time.