Helping People Win at Work #1 – The Importance of ‘Defining Expectations’

The book, “Helping People Win at Work,” by Ken Blanchard and Garry Ridge ( )was recommended to me by a friend and business consultant.  It seems the best time to set up a “win at work” scenario for your company is on the front side of building it versus trying to implement a “win at work” plan once the machine is moving. Therefore I am using this book to plan my HR vision and want to share with you what that means for Trailhead Enterprises.


One of the powerful statements in this book states, “Nearly all conflict comes from difference in expectations.”  Internalizing this statement has powerful implications for all of my relationships, both personal and professional.


My marriage – The only times Jon and I disagree or argue are when we have different expectations for the moment. I think this is an afternoon of running errands, he just wanted to get snacks for his weekend drill and get home to finish packing.


My family – I expect them to read and give feedback if I ask for it, they expect me to understand they are busy and don’t have time and/or don’t understand my business anyway.


My leadership team – I expect them to handle certain decisions, if it deals with money, they expect me to handle the decisions.


My employees – I expect them to be on time, they expect me to be gracious since LA traffic is horrible and unreliable.


The first thing I realize with this idea is that expectations need to be made clear up front AND both parties must understand the expectations and agree to them. If either of these criteria are unmet, possible conflict arises.  The implications of this professionally are clear. 1)  I must make all expectations of every position clear up front and 2) during the interview process I must clarify these expectations so the candidate understands and agrees to them. If I expect a writer to be a team player and participate in breaking stories for other scripts as well as give feedback on other’s scripts, then I must make that expectation clear up front and be sure they understand and agree to it. Otherwise potential conflict.


This sounds simple, but is actually rather hard. What do I expect from each position? How can I possibly know this in its entirety? According to Blanchard and Ridge, the process they talk about in this book allows for adjusting these expectations every year.
That good news!!


For those of you who are starting your own business/company or in leadership at an operational company, consider this book. It’s powerful!


Now, I’m off to articulating my expectations for each position. Oh Happy Day!!

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