by Kevin Eikenberry
You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers. Hi, I’m Kevin Eikenberry, answering the questions that new leaders ask us. Actually, it’s our goal to help all leaders be more successful, productive and confident. And the question I’m answering today is about setting expectations.
Are you ready? Let’s get started. When you think about setting expectations, the first question that might come to your mind is how do I set expectations given? It’s a great question worthy of a video, but it’s not the question I’m answering today.
In fact, I’m asking a first question a question that comes before that, really, because before we set them, we need to know what all of them are. So the question today is this: What are the types of expectations?
We want to make sure that we have a clear picture for people of exactly what success is. And there are three types of expectations that we need to set so that we make sure that we and our team members have that clear picture.
All right, first type of expectations are the what expectations these are the things you likely were already thinking about when I brought this up. The quality of the work, the timeliness of the work, the descriptors of the work, the basics of the work, this is what it looks like to be successful.
This is where we need to end up. Those are the what expectations of all of the three types, this is the type that leaders are most likely to get, remember or set the other to a little less likely.
Let’s talk about those other two now. The second type of expectations are the why expectations. If you have been given a task and you understood what you needed to deliver, you had the what. But you didn’t know why you were doing it.
You didn’t know who it was for, what its purpose was, how it fit into the bigger picture. Have you ever had that situation? If you have, you will agree with me that it’s frustrating and limiting. You might have ideas.
I mean, I’d like to make this report or do this with this report, but I have no idea. If I do that, it helps or hurts. Someone later makes sense to me. I don’t know if it’s better or not.
We need to give people context and purpose for their work so they know how it fits in. It will allow them to make better judgments in the moment to be more flexible and actually to set themselves up to actually help improve the work product.
This is the high expectations. And the third type of expectations are the how expectations. This is the work process stuff. This is the how we get things done. What’s the timeline and flow? Who needs to be involved? Who do you need to contact when all of those things?
These are the boundaries that help us make sure that the work is done. There’s maybe check ins with you as the leader as part of this, but who else should they engage and involve all of those things? Anything.
It’s not about the work itself, but how we’re doing it. All matters. And so you’ve probably as a leader if you’ve been a leader for very long, been frustrated with someone because the way that they were doing it was causing a problem, maybe unbeknownst to them.
So they can’t change it if they don’t know what the expectations are, right? So three types of expectations what expectations, why expectations, and how expectations so. Once you know what they need to be these areas, then you need to make them super clear before you can set them with someone else, they must become clear, likely clear.
On paper, written down. And when you’re doing that, then make sure do I have not just what expectations, but also why and how expectations as well. Let me close with today’s tweet. Expectations define success. Make sure people know more than just what success is, but always the why and the how of the work as well.
If you have a question you’d like me to answer on a future episode. You can send that question into info at Bud to Boss dot com. We’d love to hear it, and hopefully we can feature it here in the future.
And we have plenty of other resources for you at, but device dot com. We hope you’ll take a look there and you might want to subscribe here for future videos in this series. Hope you’ll do that, and I’ll be back with more questions and answers coming soon.