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We’ve spoken of expectations lately and they’ve been a hot topic in our leadership classes, too! What we‘ve not addressed is how low can they go and whether reducing them is really the right thing to do. Not sure of your expectations? Start there and think on those. Then review the following three reasons you may want to raise them a notch.  

If you’re not clear, that’s what they’ll hear…

Not only do your expectations drive their outcomes and effort, they also propel their sense of urgency, quality of work, and focus. But, you have to be clear about what you want. For some that means being direct. For others that means telling them more than once. For still more that means writing it down. And for all, that means meeting their needs in the way you share the information. Figure out who you’re talking to then tell them what you want. You can’t keep what you want a secret and still expect them to meet it.

You train people …

While you might not be the trainer in your company or part of our training staff that works with leaders, your actions, behaviors, words, rewards, and consequences train others how to treat you every day. What you expect is what they look at as the bare minimum or ceiling for their performance. Consider the message you’re sending if you reduce what you expect to the point that it takes no effort or stretch. The high performers will get bored and leave. The low performers will stay that way and get worse.

Just how low CAN you go…

If you’re doin’ the hand-jive in Grease production at your local theatre, keep working on how low you can go! Ha! If you’re leading others, think about the impact of going lower and lower in what you expect them to perform and do. If you keep going lower, won’t they simply start to stand by and wait for the next reduction of quota or workload? Won’t they stop listening when you make a request, knowing later you’ll just take it back and reduce what you expect? That’s a problem. Looking to solidify your expectations and share them in a way they understand and remember? We can help. Expectations are different for each leader and each leader approaches them differently, but if you can share them, consider those with whom you’re sharing and help them to remember what you want, it changes the face of the team and how well they perform.

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