Communicating with people in business is critical. Proper communication leads to excellent results. Improper communication or lack of communication means that we’re probably not going to get the results that we need. One important way to communicate is by establishing the right expectations. We are in fact accountable to establish those expectations.
Expectations help drive results. Your team members will work towards those expectations that you together created. Those expectations will motivate them, it will give them a guide, it gives them a bar or a target to aim for. It’s critical that when we establish expectations that we look at three pools of knowledge.
One is that we need to look at our past history. Our past history tells us what has been done but it doesn’t necessary tell us what can be done. So therefore the second pool of knowledge we need to look at is the past history of our competitors, other people in our industry, because when we compare their historical information with ours then maybe we get a new revelation, we see new light, we understand that maybe there’s a possibility that we have not tapped into yet.
The third pool of information is the past history or experiences of others in other industries, industries that may not seem related to ours but in fact, have many functions that are similar to ours. I knew someone once in a hospital that actually benchmarked luxury automobile dealers because luxury automobile dealers have legendary post sale service and the hospital wanted to bring this type of post sale service into their operation as well.
So what industries can you look at, can you study, can you benchmark and learn from how they do things to then better judge where your expectations should be set. Once you set the proper expectations, you’re probably going to get the proper results.
Expectations also work another way. They work to temper the judgment of the people that work with you, specifically external plans, customers, because what happens when they engage you is when they walk in the door, whether that door is literally the front of your building or on the internet, they have expectations. If you haven’t properly managed those expectations, establish them properly in their minds, then you might not be achieving or reaching the expectations they’ve set for you and then you’ll look like you’re doing a poor job.
When Apple releases a new product, whether it be an Ipad or an Iphone, they have a line on the store with several hundred people there. Those expectations are set in the minds of their customers. If you go on, on kick off day when the new product is released, you know what you’re getting into and you don’t mind because it’s the expectation that you have in your head.
If on the other hand, you would have shown up at Apple or at any other business and there are several other people in line and you had to wait hours, you would become irate, we would walk off, we would leave, we wouldn’t want to do service with them because our expectations were that we will be able to walk in, buy what we wanted and leave.
It’s critical that we use the establishing of expectations to communicate properly with our customers so they know what they’re going to receive and that way, when they do receive it, we look great.
Studying expectations is a higher form of communications, one that we need to master so that we can be accountable to build organization and achieve what it is that we are trying to achieve.