Do you want to learn a leadership secret to reduce conflict at work or home? If so, think about the word, expectation. We all use the word expectation many times during the day. My question for you this week is…Are you communicating clearly what your expectations are to others?
The meaning of expectation
A belief that something will happen or is likely to happen.
Challenges from my clients
My clients tell me that they are disappointed when their team does not follow through or deliver expected results. I ask my clients if they were clear on what they wanted their team to do. They tell me, “Joyce, Yes I was very clear.” Many times we find out the missing link after we have a meeting with the team and leaders. The team usually expresses that they did not know specifically what was expected of them while leaders did a bit of “mind reading” thinking that their team already knew what they needed to do. This is a common mistake that I see many leaders do. It is easy to fix.
A great example from a Hospital CEO
I am very clear when I interview each new hire for our hospital. I am the last person on the team who interviews the candidate since I trust my employees to select qualified people. I tell the candidate that “It’s not my job” is never tolerated here. Everyone helps each department out. We all help with patients and wheel them to their cars when they are discharged, if necessary. “It’s not my job” is not tolerated here. I am extremely clear on my expectations and ask them to repeat what I tell them. This way I know that I was heard!
A strategy for you to use at home to insure that your expectations are understood
My daughter, Wendy Edelman wrote the blog post below. She works at a MI based software company, Techsmith. Her message can be used by anyone who wants to get outstanding results from his or her family. Enjoy and let me know what you do at home or work to make your expectations clear.
The Productivity Activity: A Mom’s Take On The 20% Project
You may be familiar with the 20% project that some teachers are introducing into their classrooms to inspire creativity and student led learning. If you are not familiar, check out this explanation on 20% time in education. I have heard how many students took the 20% project to heart and have come up with amazing project ideas based on their own interests (running a marathon, creating a stop-motion animation movie, organizing a fundraiser, etc.)
My 13 year-old son Dylan is home for the entire summer with no real plans other than a few chores around the house, and playing with friends. Not a bad deal. Luckily, we live in a neighborhood with lots of kids. But I couldn’t help but feel I was letting him down as a working mom and offering him no activity or structure. Then it occurred to me: what if Dylan could do his own version of a 20% project? My husband and I talked it over, and we came up with an idea that takes 20 minutes out of my son’s extremely not-so-busy day. These twenty minutes would be spent doing anything productive and on something that Dylan wanted to explore. We called it the Productivity Activity. Just what every 13-year-old wants!
Here were our rules:
- He must do something productive for 20 minutes every day
- He can decide what that project will be
- We can discuss what he did for the day over dinner or the weekend
Pretty simple, but so far, very effective!
I gave Dylan a few ideas of inspiration and he ran with it. We are into our first month of summer and here is what he did or plans to do:
- Research how sushi is made and come up with a plan to make it at home (we bought supplies for was his 8th grade graduation gift)
- Learn how to play The Office theme song on his guitar
- Write his own song on the guitar
- Continue to write chapters in his thriller novel
- Master HTML with his dad (they have been using codeacademy)
- Learn the fundamentals of hitting a speedbag (Rocky was his inspiration)
I wanted to share this idea with you because Dylan was so receptive from the very beginning and shows no sign of slowing down. If you do try this with your own kids, the key is to let them pick what interests them. I would love to hear your ideas on how to make the most of a very long summer!
Wendy Edelman is the Education Team Manager at TechSmith.
You can follow her at @wendyedelman
- She has been with TechSmith for over a decade!
- She loves coffee, red wine, and water..
- She has one son, one husband :), and one dog.
Thoughts From Joyce
Wendy’s blog post is perfect to share with your team. Communication issues can be solved once we are all clear about our expectations. This is also an example of how work and home life are not 2 distinct entities. Company’s of choice know how to help their employees do their best to balance both home and work. I will share more ideas on this in future blog posts. Thanks Wendy for doing such a great job with Dylan. I am very proud of my family and I will be including more articles about us. It’s so much fun to learn some great lessons from my kids and grand kids.
Click here to read Powerful Presentation Skills Secrets From a 13 Year Old. Yes it is also about Dylan. Learn key ideas to make your next presentation powerful and successful.
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Until next time,
This is Joyce Weiss, Business Conflict Resolution Consultant
I help people become top level leaders who get GREAT results.
How do I do this?
I teach them to tackle the tough conversations with bullies and negative people to build employee engagement, accountability, and rock star performance…
The Result? My clients get a better night’s sleep!
Feel free to call me concerning your own team/executive retreats, workshops, on line professional growth coaching, and keynote speeches.
Remember…You Get What YOU Tolerate!