Supervisory Leadership

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How important are clear expectations?

If the folks who work for you don't have a clear idea of what you expect, then you can't hold them accountable. That's true for both general expectations and specific expectations.

I tell my trainees and clients to get togther with the group whose performance they're responsible for and lay out general expectations. Follow that up with one-on-one sessions where you can make sure that each person understands. Supplement your meetings with a written statement of expectations.

That takes care of the general expectations, but you'll also have specific expectations for specific people and assignments. To make sure that happens, tailor your communication style to the individual you're working with. Learn to give directions in several ways and to practice active listening.

Making sure expectations are clear is only part of your job, though. You must also make sure your expectations are reasonable. Expectations are reasonable if your subordinate has the skills and resources to perform as expected.


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