You must clarify… and exhibit… the expectations and priorities to create a real impact for your team and yourself. Your team must see you living them and consistently following up on them each week. By your behaviors, they should know what is important for them to do and strive for in their actions. Every statement you make, and every action you take should be to deliver your most important goals.
Here are some tips:
Connect your Purpose to your Expectations and Priorities. To start, you must clarify what is important. This should be tied to your purpose and your highest objectives. There shouldn’t be any confusion here. Every role, project, or activity should have a connection to it so your team connects to it. Be extremely specific here so they know exactly how what you are asking them to do will deliver that purpose or objective.
Set the Expectations. When setting expectations, ensure that you are clarifying both components of clear expectations.
What behaviors need to be exhibited?
What results need to be delivered?
Clarify the priorities. As you begin laying out the various activities you expect to be done, clearly indicate which are the most important and which need to be done first, second, third, and so on. If you don’t set these, your team will set them for themselves and will most likely focus on what they feel is easiest or more in their area of expertise or their highest level of interest.
Model the Expectations and Priorities. You are an example for the team. You cannot state something is important and then not exhibit those same behaviors yourself.
When setting the behavioral and results components of your expectations, it is important to know that the expected behaviors WILL produce the expected results. Look to your top performers for examples of these or test them out beforehand so that you can point to specific examples of where they are possible. Your team will want proof that the expectations will work.
Examine your weekly cadence and individual conversations with your team members to create a rhythm around these areas. These must be built into each meeting and interaction, where you speak about the highest expectations and priorities at the beginning, the end, and throughout the session. Each message should be delivered to create importance around them to deliver your highest goals and overall purpose. Plus, remember to live them yourself. Sometimes, your strongest message comes from the example you set for others.