Interesting realisation recently in a mentoring session. Where we were talking about setting expectations and ensuring understanding with employees. I realised through our discussion, that it’s our responsibility when asking people to do things, to make sure that the person understands.
This goes beyond even our team members, it could be contractors, other organisations that we are engaging. Sharing the content and the context. The content – what do we seek to achieve including the processes and procedures involved. The context – why is this work important – the bigger picture perspective, the meaning to this work.
Like trying to engage heart and head in an endeavour. Considering why should someone dedicate their time in energy to this, to make it a priority. How do they prioritise this work? Working with the CEO of an ASX listed business late last year he found that his position meant that everyone makes your suggestions a top priority. That can be really tricky if they have invested weeks of work based on an off-hand remark.
Taking the time to think who are working with, how they learn, work, communicate, understand things and checking with them. Thus, making a request if it made sense. Enquiring how their work looks like and how the request fits with their capabilities and priorities. Seeking feedback on this work / project / request. Giving us the chance to check if it is along the lines of what we were thinking. Further, to seek their agreement, how we rate its importance and the time available.
By not disclosing known pitfalls, or if the person fails to appreciate the content and context, it’s easy to come unstuck. It is possible to rush into something and not realise wow okay this is a lot harder than I thought. There’s a lot more to this than meets they eye, no wonder nobody else wanted to do this! So also frontloading the conversation that this might be a bit tough or actually I think I’ve done this myself I think it’s relatively straightforward. But, why don’t you make it your own and move the game forward.
I was speaking with a business leader in the construction field earlier this year and he was saying whenever there’s a misunderstanding, on the first occasion he takes responsibility. Okay, I must not have explained that very well, so let’s re-trace our steps and let’s make sure that we are both crystal clear on what we expect. However, by the third time, there is something else going wrong here.
Great to consider how do we set up our others for success and taking ownership for their understanding, maybe their satisfaction too.
Recently, I have been booking calls to reconnect with people that I have worked with previously, it is has been fantastic, learning how much their work has changed and how they are moving forward. If you would like to speak, please feel welcome to book a call, or in those rare instances, grab a coffee. https://calendly.com/adamcallender
Photo credit Max van den Oetelaar Unsplash