28. How to Set ‘Great’ Expectations For Your Team


How to Set 'Great' Expectations For Your Team

It can be the best of times, it can be the worst of times being a leader.

In previous videos, I have discussed how important it is to set expectations up front as a leader.

In today's video, I explain a simple model that you can use. It focuses on getting clarity around the role boundaries and it forms really a discussion between the leader and the team member and can actually apply to teams as well.


How does a leader set up success for people and their teams?

Hi, just continuing the series on some of the questions that have been posed to me by various leaders and organisations and leaders I've been coaching. Here's one example that's been asked of me. How does a leader set up success for people and their teams? And one of the models that I've found very helpful is this model here. And what it does is it focuses on getting clarity around the role boundaries and it forms really a discussion between the leader and the team member and can actually apply to teams as well.

And we'll talk about that briefly. So, the premise of this is, in this left hand quadrant box it says the core work of the role. So when you're sitting down with your team member, you're exploring the reason why they're in this role. What is the work, that core work, that they're actually required to do and deliver on in any given period?

So you get clarity around that. So in this case I've got something around safety. That would typically have a component of safety into it. It would be the core things like for example, in this role they're accountable for the weekly and monthly reports. So this is usually quite a long list, reasonably high level, that defines very clearly, the reason they exist in the role and what they're required to deliver. That's a great discussion for a start because that very seldom ever happens. At best, we give them a role description and expect them to translate that into actual activities. So this is about the activities. 

Over here, is escalate. So as the leader, the reason you have this is, what is the specific activities that you want to exercise the right of review. So in this case, you could have financial limit. So any expense over $1,000, please come to me and we will talk that through and then I'll ultimately approve that. I just want to have the right of review.

Secondly, it could be the monthly reports that you're doing as part of your core work actually end up at the board. And as your leader, I want to exercise the right of review to ensure that we've got the right wording and the right context, we validated a dot or etc. We'll have a conversation about that, probably it's never gonna be more than a conversation, and I rubber stamp that and then we have it ready for the board.

On this side, we talk about the negotiable activities. So these are the just in time situations where something comes up, the team member can come to you and know the types of things that you will sit down, listen to what they have to say, evaluate the situation and the context of work and then make a decision. So one example I've put here could be special leave.

A team member comes along, says I've got a situation, I need to take two days off to address and get it out of the way because its impacting on my effectiveness at work. However, I know that there are two team members already off on leave, and I know that we only have two off at any one time but this is a really special situation. Can you approve this leave? And so, within some context and boundaries for that situation, you'll be able to approve that and get them out. It could be that in fact, that you talk about that with the team and say I need to let Frank off for a few days. You don't need to know the details but we'll just have to pull together as a team to help cover this. And it sends good signals, it says I'm approachable, I listen and where I can, I will try and address these issues as a just in time negotiation. 

Over here, these are the types of activities that you tell your team member with confidence that these are yours to manage. In other words, you are confident and you know they will do a good job. You don't even need to know about it and as the leader I will support you 100% because I know you'll do it right. One of the accountabilities could be around safety, could be to do incident analysis, so pull a report to get that says we've had these type of incidents, these are the issues, this is where we should be targeting, etc. I'd hand that over to you and say run with that.

Another one might be the weekly reports. As opposed to the monthly reports that went to the board, the weekly reports are in house and happy to have you just run with that. Bring anything that you need to my attention. So the key thing is, while this is a four quandrant box, what we're really talking about here is a really frank, open conversation about the work, what you expect of people to do in certain circumstances, how the other situations will be managed, and demonstrating that you will support them 100% and the things you just hand over to them.

Now where this varies around the role boundaries, you could have three people in a similar role doing the similar core work but where it might vary with each of those team members is what you want to have them escalate to you for rubber stamping. So if someone has been in the role for a long period of time, has demonstrated a lot of experience, effective decision making. You might have lists on this list here with that individual versus someone who is very new to the role and is still developing that.

That's your exercising and monitoring and having that right of review. This will flex from role to role but where they're doing some of the work that would be one example. The other thing would be in that experienced person this list would probably be a lot longer because they've had more time and built that knowledge base up to exercise what they will manage. So I hope you get the intent of that. I will probably touch on this again when I talk about the micro-managing bosses because I think it will help explain that situation really well. All right, well look forward to catching up with you in the next videos.

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