By Sandy Sponaugle
Posted on March 3, 2020
Filed under: Business Development, Communications, Strategic Communication

How to communicate your expectations

Have you ever encountered a problem inside the workplace where you and another person had complete opposite expectations of the project at hand? This can be a frustrating and challenging situation.

We all have different workplace habits, ways of communicating, and expectations.

One employee might be accustomed to sending text messages, while another might value picking up the phone instead.

A request sent over email might seem crystal clear to the sender, while the receiver interprets the message differently.

Here are a few tips for overcoming these challenges and communicating effectively in the workplace:

Be very clear and specific of your expectations upfront. 
With all of your employees and subcontractors, be very clear about what you need from them, how you prefer to be communicated with, and at what frequency. You aren’t a mind reader and neither are they. Be upfront about your expectations, and you give them a greater chance at success.

If an issue comes up, have a conversation quickly and professionally before it escalates.
The sooner you address the problem and provide guidance on what to do instead, the sooner it can resolve peacefully.

Don’t be afraid to communicate expectations again and again.
Just like with your marketing messages, you may need to reinforce expectations multiple times.

Notice what you take for granted about what you know to do.
You might be accustomed to communicating in a certain way, and get confused about why the other doesn’t naturally pick up on it. If you have preferences, it’s on you to assume the responsibility and explain it to your team members.

Remember: None of us inherently know the expectations of others, and so there can be a learning curve for both parties. Being willing to compassionately and effectively communicate is a primary step in this process!

‘Til next time,
Sandy

P.S. Communicating effectively can be an especially difficult challenge when it comes to hiring a new team member, or being a new hire yourself! I recently opened up an opportunity for new hires to work with me as a coach so I can help get you up to speed and build your confidence on the job quickly. If you’re interested in learning more, just reach out to me!

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