Expectations and Communication

Expectations can be good, but I’ve seen many times when they are a core problem. 

When your boss thinks you can code the next rocket into space, but you’ve only learned how to start the coffee maker….When you think you should be promoted but your boss thinks you’ve only barely learned to do your current job on your own….When you’re expected to answer 100 phone calls an hour, there’s only you, and each call lasts 5 minutes.….When you’re expected to smile every moment of your day, but you are coming down with the flu….You were hired to be the project manager but now you’re the personal assistant to the Vice President.

I could go on – these are all real and I’ve seen every one of them.

Communication, communication, communication.  It is the most important thing we need, and it is the most difficult thing to do.

If the expectations are off, then you must speak up.  Every day that they remain out of line, the gap widens as bitterness and the feelings of unfairness grow.  An easy first step is to write up what you see.  Be careful to use phrases such as “I believe” and “what I’ve seen” because you do not know everything, and you do not see everything.  Sleep on it, make sure there are no ‘very’, ‘never’, or ‘always’ and remove all the strong adjectives – they make everything harder. Then, send it off asking for some time on their calendar.  This method gives the other party time to adjust to what you want to say and what you want them to hear.  Most likely, they’re experiencing frustration too, so they need a moment to get past their own issues and begin to problem solve with you.

When you’re the most frustrated, it’s pretty much guaranteed to mean that there is critical information you don’t have.  This critical information will make everything make sense.  And that’s what you’re hoping to get.  In the process of finding out more information, the expectations will be identified, and most likely will get adjusted to become closer to reality.

In some cases, you’ll find out where your own lines are.  Maybe that VP is a narcissistic and you need to find a new job.  Maybe you’re the only one answering the calls because everyone else quit as your management is not concerned with your well-being.  It is always best to find these things out quickly especially as it will help reduce your own bitterness.

Communication, communication, communication.  It’s everything.

What if it mattered?

 mead quote

What if? What if your team became ‘thoughtful, committed citizens’ to your vision? What if your team felt so strongly about their work – with you as their motivator – that they enjoyed coming to work? What if they found the ability to recover from the inevitable pitfalls to truly succeed – success being feeling happy with their work life?

We find happiness in our life (work and professional) when it matters to us.  We succeed because we found something that matters to us.  We change the world a little step at a time when it matters to us.

Matter in your own life.  Become ‘thoughtful, committed citizens’ to your own world and the big world (even your office) will get a little bit better – or maybe even a whole lot better.

Karenwiley@appliedteamdynamics.com

Making the impossible feasible, then successful

 

Case Study: Project in Flames

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Returned to a old client to complete a Big Data conversion project.  The architecture was bleeding edge technology and not working as expected, the team was drowning in nine different integration and testing environments, and the entire project lacked focused attention. Using only email for tracking per management: coordinated the releases into each environment, tracked the constantly changing purposes for each environment, and handled inconsistent management attention along with an aggressive timeline. All new deadlines were met without any further delays and the client was very happy.

— READ MORE—_

 

Bullies In the Office

I have had three true bullies in my career – all women. Each situation was different, and each woman was a bully for different reasons and in different ways.  Only one of them was my direct manager.  All made my life miserable and difficult despite my attempts at trying to make things better – part of my job as Project Manager and part of my personality.  Despite every Lifetime movie showing that bullies can be ‘turned around’ – that’s not true for the office where you have no insight into their personal world where the damage is being created.  Forgive me my HR friends, there’s nothing you have done in any of these situations – for the same reason.

Bullying is one of those toxic situations with no way out – like narcissism.  So, what DO you do?  The internet is filled with tactics to help you survive.  But, I think the real answer lies in looking in the mirror and deciding what you want to do with your life. Forget the bully – What is in your best interest?  Do you like what you’re doing? My guess, what you want to do is hard to do.  There are kids, spouses, money, or knowledge in the way.   Most likely there’s fear too.  Change is scary, but change is our only option.

Twins looked at each other in the womb and say “It’s so scary out there.  It doesn’t matter that I can barely move – it’s safe here.”

karenwiley@appliedteamdynamics.com

Making the Impossible Feasible, then Successful

 

Team Building Exercises – Worth It? Yes AND No

Team Building Exercise

Depending on the exercise, you might be learning a lot about communication – unless your boss is the competitive type then it’s all about who wins.  All work on communication is awesome – regardless the venue.  This environment can break down barriers that your team members have been experiencing -which is always a good thing!

Now, you’re back in the office – can you apply what you just learned?  If you and your team were struggling only with working together, most likely you can.  However, there’s a lot more going on within your team than human interaction.  You also have expectations, the need for good automation, processes, and external communication that creates stress on your team.   

Managers who see these team building exercises as ‘fix-it events’ will not get what they want.  These exercises don’t ‘build teams’ – they build (hopefully) fun memories and relationship bonds that people can fall back on when times get tough.  Use team building events as rewards only.

If your team is not on the Same Road, at the Same Time, and going in the Same Direction on a regular basis – ask for help.

karenwiley@appliedteamdynamics.com

Making the Impossible Feasible, then Successful

 

#teamwork, #teambuildingevents, #FabricofTeamwork