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Are You Expecting? December 10, 2011

Posted by Jason in Management.
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Every human interaction has several common attributes. Communication is one of the most overt. It is obvious – at least that it is occurring, though there is almost always a hidden message. More subtle are our personal motivations that drive us to persuade, entreat, favor, or reject another’s ideas. These attributes come together whenever you expect something from someone, or someone expects something from you.

We have all had shattered expectations. We thought we could depend on someone, we trusted, we delegated responsibility – only to face disappointment, frustration, and what becomes regarded as substandard performance. Naturally, this happens in both personal and business situations. But in business, we have a much more structured concept of expectations and a line of authority that provides fundamental motivation (to keep your job!) if not actual leadership.

Nonetheless, whenever you expect something of someone else, you have an obligation as well. It is rarely enough to simply assign a task – big or small – and expect that it will be done without some degree of follow-up. At the most fundamental level, the task must be understood and the proper resources must be available. But beyond that, the delegator must ensure that the task is properly prioritized and fits into the schedule. Time, as always, has the final say.