Have you ever experienced feeling like you don’t quite measure up or meet expectations? Have you ever questioned your ability to do a great job? Do you sometimes assume that others don’t have the best impression of you? I know I’ve certainly done all of the above leaving me feeling like I’m not good enough and I don’t have what it takes to really excel at my job.
One of the main causes of this is misaligned expectations. In other words what others expect of you doesn’t align with the work you’re doing. Now I will caution that sometimes we make assumptions that this is the case when it’s not so it’s best not to jump to conclusions.
Here are some tips to make sure that everyone is crystal clear on what’s expected and you know exactly what you need to do so you feel completely empowered and capable of doing a fantastic job…
1. Goal/intention – When you’re meeting with the person who is setting the expectation or requesting something of you, ask yourself what the intention of the discussion is and what you’d like to get out of it. For example, if you’re meeting with your boss to discuss a new project that you’re being assigned, get really clear on what the intention of the meeting is and what you’d like to walk away from the meeting with. You also want to make sure that everyone is on the same page about the goal and the agenda of the meeting, even if it’s an informal discussion.
2. Bottom Lining It – What is the bottom line or end goal of the task being requested of you? For example, is it to reduce costs, make a decision, improve engagement, etc. Understanding why you’re doing what you’re doing will make you more effective.
3. Specific Expectations – The next step is to get clarity on exactly what’s expected of you in order to meet that objective or complete the task.
4. Measure of Success – It’s important to answer the question ‘How will I know that I’ve been successful?’ and ‘How will the key people who are impacted measure my success?’
5. Examples – When given the task it’s a good idea to ask for examples of how it should be completed to make sure you understand exactly what’s being asked of you. You can also provide examples based on your understanding of the request.
6. Other Players – Who else needs to be involved in completing this and what does their level of engagement need to be?
7. Recap – Last and certainly not least…in fact this may be the most important point: Make sure you recap the request, the main objective, the steps you will take to complete the task, who needs to be involved and when the task needs to be completed by, as well as any follow up items before you leave the meeting. This may seem like overkill when these points were just discussed but this can prevent any miscommunication and frustration. It’s always a good idea to document the conversation and send it to whoever was involved. This will serve as a point of reference for you and as a way for others to respond to your notes on what was discussed.
Following these steps will ensure that everyone involved is on the same page and will help set you up for success from the beginning without you feeling like you may miss the mark or not meet expectations.
I did a Facebook Live in my group on this topic and went into a little more detail on each of the points above. If you’d like to watch it you can do so here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/confidentcareerclub/
You are enough. It may just be a matter of aligning expectations in order for you to truly shine.
To your success…