Setting proper expectations is crucial in various aspects of life, whether it’s in relationships, work, or personal goals. As a leader, this is the most important thing you can do. You need to show them (your team) what success looks like. They may never figure out what it takes to succeed within your organization and team. 

Here are some steps to set crystal-clear expectations for your team

  • Make them clear for yourself.

It is impossible to build mutually clear expectations with others if you haven’t defined your expectations. Clearly communicate what you expect from yourself and others.

  • Decide where you need to set expectations.

Think about where the gaps exist on your team. What are the expectations imposed by the organizational culture? Figure out where you are falling short, and define exactly what needs to change.

  • Understand why.

Help people understand the bigger picture and you will gain their support. Provide them justification for expectations. In this way, it will increase their accountability for meeting those expectations. 

  • Meet with employees to discuss the new standards. 

To encourage a productive two-way conversation, provide employees with an agenda and list of goals for the meeting, and ask them to come prepared to offer their own feedback.

  • Write your expectations down. 

When you write down your goals and expectations, you gain more clarity and document your plan of action. That way there will be no confusion later about the terms to which you and the employees agreed.

  • Gain agreement and commitment.

Ensure that you are on the same page and commit to the new expectations. We recommend that you and your employees sign off on the document should you need to revisit the issue later.

Effective communication is at the core of setting expectations. Be clear, transparent, and willing to listen to others’ perspectives to create a shared understanding that leads to smoother interactions and positive outcomes.

Remember that setting proper expectations is an ongoing process. It involves self-awareness, effective communication, and a willingness to adapt as needed. When expectations are managed well, it can lead to more positive and fulfilling outcomes.

Watch this weekly wisdom for more details. 


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