One big problem with your business is that you expect too much from your employees.
If you are a business owner or manager, I’m sure that title caught your attention. You did read it correctly – what you expect of your employees is causing lots of problems in your business. You may be thinking, “What kind of angle is this!!! If anything, I don’t expect ENOUGH out of my employees. In fact, some of them only scrape by on the bare minimum activity, and try their hardest to get out of even doing the bare minimum!”
The problem IS expectation.
Steve Chandler in his book Shift Your Mind says it this way: People don’t live up to your expectations! Well, that’s not fun. You’re disappointed. Sometimes you’re even feeling betrayed if it was as serious expectation. The other thing that can happen is that they do live up to it! Well, you’re just neutral – nothing- you EXPECTED it. So you say, “Daisy showed up to the meeting on time,” you think, “but that’s what I expected, so what?” So you either have “so what?” which is a life of boring nothingness, or you will have a life filled with disappointment. Those are your two choices.
There is another way to approach the whole issue of management, accountability, and team work. First, take ownership and accountability for the results of your company or department. Quit blaming your employees for mediocre results, and accept the fact that your leadership has brought your team to the present level of performance. Second, drop all of your expectations. Expectations are nothing more than wishes and desires. Often they include assumptions and the illusion of effective communication. Third, learn how to create agreements.
You can choose to create agreements as a wonderful replacement for expectations. To effectively replace expectations with agreements, you must first really understand each other. When I am coaching an owner or manager, I always start this process of creating agreements by having the owner listen and ask questions, all with the goal to just understand what the employee wants as well as their current expectation and goals. It is impossible to create an effective agreement without first understanding how the employee thinks and how they win in their own mind. Asking them what they want, and what would be ideal for them, opens the door to create wonderful, great agreements that will inspire and motivate them to be the best they can be.
Sometimes business owners and managers are afraid to ask what an employee REALLY wants.
What if I don’t have what they want or feel they need? Think about it. They want what they want whether you know about it or not. You are much better positioned to create a happy and successful situation if you know what they really want. You open the possibility to create agreements and get commitment and results when you both understand one another. They may be willing to help you get to the place that you can give them what they want. Once you truly understand them, they will likely respect you for listening and understanding and be ready to understand what you want and desire from them as well. Once you have a great agreement and plan in place based on honest and open communication, then there is no need for any more expectation. Human beings love to keep agreements and resent trying to live up to other’s expectations.
So here’s the action plan for this week.
Identify where you have lots of expectations, and sit down with that person and create some wonderful agreements based on listening and understanding one another! Business and life will become fun again!
Dave Beam has been helping businesses for the last 25 years. He is owner and operator of a successful ActionCOACH Business Coaching franchise, and has a passion to assist business leaders create amazing outcomes. He has coached over 300 businesses and corporations over the last thirteen years.
You can learn more about Coach Dave Beam on his website: