Learn the two questions to ask to determine whether your team is actually aligned on the purpose of the organization.
- Setting expectations is important. When I'm leading expeditions, I tell people that they were selected because they are selfless, adventurous, and possess heroic aspirations. When it tell them this, I actually see more of these behaviors expressed in the field. Also, the research in several studies reinforces that performance improves with clear expectations. Let's talk about three studies in particular. 50 years ago, two researchers conducted a study that showed if teachers told students that they expected enhanced performance from the children, then the performances were actually enhanced. Another great source comes from the Gallup organization. They came up with 12 core questions based on 30 years of behavioral research to uncover what creates true engagement. Now I've listed them all here, and there is a lot to process. Feel free to pause the video to give you more time. The one at the very top of the list is: DO you know what is expected of you at work? Sounds simple, but I can't tell you how many people I speak with who really don't know what's expected in terms of work. A study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology reported that when teachers said, "I'm giving you these comments because "I have very high expectations "and I know that you can reach them," performance went up a full 40%. Now, we've talked about how having expectations improves behavior. Let's talk about standards. My thought on this is that when we say, "I have very high expectations," we're asking people to measure up to us, and we're personalizing the expectation based on what can easily be a bias. In the army, I used to use the term standards, and I think it better reflects what the team high bar is. It makes it easy to talk to someone if they're not meeting the standard that everyone has to hit versus not meeting an expectation that I personally set. I recommend you tweak this phrase. I have very high expectations, and use the word standards instead. For example, say, "I'm giving you these comments "because we have very high standards, "and I know you can reach them." Tweaking your vocabulary to focus the organization on standards will get everyone on the same page and align expectations. It will make it easier for you to banish mediocrity and create a high-performing team that meets, exceeds, and sustains the standards of the organization.