Clearly, nicely, expertly

I was in a Starbucks the other day. I chose to sit at the coffee counter near where the baristas make the magic. At this particular location, and at that particular time, I had the privilege of hearing the store manager clearly, nicely, and expertly lay out his expectations for an employee that was rotating in from a different store. Clearly, nicely, expertly. There was no room for interpretation about what he expected. What he wanted was clear. There was no tone of sarcasm or ego. Seemingly he had been in this role for some time because he had that certain level of comfort being the bossman and laying out his expectations. I was mesmerized. Mainly, because I have only experienced such clarity less than a handful of times in my 25 years of work. Less than a handful of times! As I left the store, I wondered why setting clear work expectations seemed to be such an issue. Is it that we are uncomfortable saying what we want? Is it that we don’t know what we want? Is it that we are uncomfortable in the role of bossman? Whatever the reason, the little bit of comfort we get when we don’t communicate our expectations has big ramifications for our team members. After all, we can only exceed your expectations when we know what they are. 

by Jonathan Wilson

Jonathan is the Head Coach at Sandcastle Company, a Seattle-based leadership training organization. His first book, Future Leader: Rebooting Leadership to Win the Millennial and Tech Future [link], is now available. Jonathan regularly writes and speaks about The New Leader Way, leadership resilience, and the future of work. He has years of leadership experience in both the public and private sectors, a master's degree from Seattle University, and professional coach training from the University of Miami.

Filed under: Leadership

Published on January 17, 2019

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