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Tim Millett
Published by Tim Millett
08 October 2013

Depending on how organised you are, that could be a difficult question to answer. Whether you have a work related project or task to complete, or are establishing working guidelines for your overall leadership role, you should have clear and well defined expectations of what you want to achieve before you begin.

This is especially necessary if the project involves teamwork. If the overall expectations of what needs to be achieved are not clearly defined, then the people involved may produce very different results, as they will all have different ideas about what is expected of them.

To this end, it helps immensely if a clear framework for your working relationship is laid out before the project begins. And the first step in this process is to take some time to make sure that your expectations are clear to yourself. Everyone should have a specific task and have the benefit of knowing not only what they are expected to do but also what are the parameters for their performance. Each person then operates as part of the whole, and it is only by everyone performing their own part that the project can be completed satisfactorily.

These expectations for team performance normally take two forms – operational and behavioural expectations. Under normal circumstances many operational expectations are dealt with in job descriptions, company poicy documents and the like. However behavioural expectations are much more subjective and as a reulst of this are harder to address.

Regular meetings at agreed points are also useful to determine if everyone is staying on track. Your expectations for the completion of a project should match the actual finished result as closely as possible and regular meetings help to steer you in the right direction.

There are many different opportunities to communicate your expectations – whether it be as part of the interview process to match a potential recruit to your team, at the start of a new project or when taking over a new position for example.

Remember that there are many great leaders, and all have an individual leadership style just as all artists have different artistic styles. However one of the major keys to really effective leadership is the clear understanding of your style by your team. By making your performance expectations clear to yourself, it allows you to effectively communicate them. This in turn allows your team members to work according to your expectations, which makes them confident and secure.

And one more thing – it is important to remember that you have to be a role model for the expectations you have of others!

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