Photo by Roland
Today, as part of our marketing class, we had a guest lecture by Allan Watkinson from Gallup Consulting. Watkinson gave us a lecture about employee and customer engagement and Gallup’s Human-Sigma concept. I must admit it was a fascinating lecture that dealt with many of the things I write a lot about here in my blog.
Watkinson covered a few subjects that I will probably write about in following posts, but I think one of the issues that stood out for me was the subject of expectations. One of the things Gallup consultants encounter constantly is employees, even employees in high positions like executives, who are not sure what is expected of them. One of the main questions used to assess managers in the Gallup model is whether their employees know what is expected of them.
Now the notion by itself is not new for me, and I read about its importance as a question to predict managers’ effectiveness in “First, break all the rules“, but I think the importance of this concept can’t be stressed enough. More than that, this concept is not only important for managers. I actually encountered it in almost every professional and personal engagement I ever took part off.
Think about it. In teaching or presenting, setting expectations is one of the most important things. It is the first leg of “Tell them what you are going to tell them. Tell them. Tell them what you told them”. In coaching, setting expectations is the first step to create a viable relationship between coacher and coachee. I have heard about so many personal relationships that have failed or suffered because the couple did not communicate their expectations (including some of your truly). In the last few months, I have experienced first handed the importance of setting expectations in a team setting. And above all, as I write in my e-book, I believe that as an employee you should be active and set your expectations from the role to your manager.
So, if setting expectations is so important and crucial to success in so many parts of life, why most people don’t do it? Why do so many managers, couples, teachers and more are failing to set expectations correctly?
I don’t have an answer for that. I do know that you can easily differentiate yourself, no matter what it is that you do, by setting expectations.
So, when is the last time you set the expectations up front?