Talk about a morale killer. Your people love to reach for stretch goals. They also need to know what is expected of them, right? What happens when there are silent expectations the boss doesn’t acknowledge?
Unstated expectations are the curse of the visionary leader, and they’re destructive!
Here’s an example. Say you and your leadership team set the goal of 100 new “likes” on your business’s Facebook page. However, down deep you think how amazing the strategy is and surely it should yield well over 500 likes. That’s what happened to your buddy’s company, right? So why not yours?
At the end of the month, your team comes to report their huge success — not 100 likes but 150! Yay! How do you respond? Out of your disappointment. You start shooting questions. Why didn’t….? What about…? Did you try…? Next time…. We need to….!
Whoa! Big downer! Your team was so excited about the win — exceeding the agreed-upon goal that you gave your thumbs up to (with no mention of your desire for 500 likes.) Now their joy is snuffed out.
But that’s not the worst of it!
In my next post I’ll talk about what unstated expectations can lead to (hint: disappointment, distrust, withdrawal, stymied communication, and eventually cynicism! Yuck!) But then we’ll look at how to fix the situation! There’s always hope!
(By the way, I take a long look at this topic in my current newsletter. If you aren’t signed up to receive it very month, you can do so here.)