Sticky Notes: Maintaining Clear Expectations

Since maintaining clear expectations is an ongoing process of leaders and followers and coworkers engaging in dialogue, it helps a lot to teach followers how to do their part in that ongoing dialogue.

Making expectations clear is 99% of good management. That means that 99% of management training is teaching managers exactly HOW to make expectations clear. But that doesn’t have to be 99% of your training strategy. Since maintaining clear expectations is an ongoing process of leaders and followers and coworkers engaging in dialogue, it helps a lot to teach followers how to do their part in that ongoing dialogue. Some tips:

STEP 1: Work with your boss (or bosses) to figure out the goals, guidelines, and timelines for every task, responsibility, and project:

  • Clear goals: Establish what the end product should look like. What deliverables are you responsible for?
  • Detailed guidelines: Learn the specifications and requirements for each individual project, task, or responsibilities assigned to you.
  • Specific timelines: What is the schedule of deliverables and final completion date?

STEP 2: Expect things will change. Every step of the way, discuss with your boss (or bosses):

  • What has changed and what course corrections do I need to make?
  • How do I need to adjust my resource plan?
  • How do I need to reprioritize my to-do list of concrete actions?
  • Has the checklist to ensure quality control changed as a result of this shift in priorities?
  • What priorities should I be focused on right now?
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