Fieldamental #8: Get Clear on Expectations & Purpose

GET CLEAR ON EXPECTATIONS & PURPOSE. What are we doing and why? Create clarity and avoid misunderstandings by discussing expectations upfront.  Establish mutually understood objectives and deadlines for all projects, issues, and commitments with both internal and external customers.  Ensure activities align with our strategic plan.Field Expectations

Getting clear on expectations and purpose may be one of the most practical & useful Fieldamentals.  We can incorporate this into virtually every interaction with have we others that requires some kind of follow up.  Agreeing on exactly who will do what by when is the basic premise of this Fieldamental.  The fact that this seems simple does not minimize its importance.  Creating very clear understanding of expectations with each other is the basis of making sure the follow up activities meets or exceeds everyone’s expectations.  We need to avoid statements like “as soon as possible”, because this does not create any clarity.  If you tell someone “I will get this to you ASAP”, you may think that 3 days would be an amazingly fast reply and the other person may be thinking they need the response in 3 hours.  Nobody will be happy in this situation because the timeframe of the follow up was not agreed to.

Another way to think about getting clear on expectations is to remember that what matters is what is heard, not what is said.  We all tend to remember things the way we want to hear them.  A simple way to ensure that you have achieved clear expectations is to ask the other person what they expect at the end of your conversation on the follow up.  Did they understand what you committed to?   Are you on the same page?  Once this is agreed to, it’s time to starting thinking about Fieldamental #3 Honoring Commitments!  Take the necessary steps to make sure you complete the follow up as agree to.

The last component of this Fieldamental is to ensure all activities are aligned with our overall strategic plan.  One of the most critical aspects of strategic planning is to decide what NOT to do.  Don’t engage in projects and activities that do not support our strategic plan.  Make sure that you can see how everything you do aligns with the strategic plan.  Work with your Team Leader to ensure clarity of all your activities and how they support our strategic plan.