Managing Expectations

September 27, 2010 | By | Add a Comment

There’s a small action you can take, right away, that will build confidence in you personally, as well as ensuring that the trust that your people have in you is high.

I’m pretty sensitive to it – perhaps it’s just the way I am – but it’s a very important behavior that I notice easily when it happens.

You see, I really expect people to do what they say they will. It’s not much to ask!

Now, that doesn’t seem so hard now, does it? well, you might be surprised. In fact managers so often fail to deliver, it’s little wonder that they fail to create the respect and trust that they need to be effective managers.

And there’s such a simple way to ensure that you are seem to deliver what you say you will.

Under-promise.

Here’s an example.

I was once placed in a tricky situation. The organization I worked for had a rigid salary review process – one that once a salary raise was in place (and it was an annual activity) there was no way to change it.

Yet we had to make the budgets balance before we could tell out people what they had achieved and were going to shortly receive.

One of my supervisors was not happy with the outcome of her review and came to tell me so. In fact, I had inherited the review that year (from a previous manager) and it seemed to me that there was just cause for her concern.

But I couldn’t fix it there and then. In fact, although there was a small window to ‘fix’ such matters – at the half year mark – I wasn’t prepared to ‘promise’ an increase then even.

What I did do was promise to take a further look at her situation and be as fair with her as possible and depending on her meeting some criteria we agreed.

I was never perfect at this. I did notice that because I held ‘keeping promises’ in high regard in my business life, I would always do my best to ensure that I met the expectations others had of me.

Under-promising has so many benefits – and it’s a tactic that is very worthy of consideration, particularly when you have taken time to create relationships with your people upfront.

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Filed in: Employee Development, Leadership and Management, Personal Development | Tags: , , , ,

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