Government Connections - Spring 2014 - (Page 17)
F E AT U R E
BY ANNE GRADY
FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT
Take time to think about
your expectations and then
communicate them. It could be
as simple as clearly explaining
that you expect someone to
meet a deadline or not engage
you in office gossip.
e've all been there. Whether
it's because someone is
a guest in your house or
it's your significant other,
someone has replaced
the toilet paper in your
bathroom, and they put it on in the wrong direction.
Are you an over or an under? I mean do you
place the toilet paper going over the roll or under
the roll? Clearly if you're an under, you are just plain
wrong! Over is obviously the best choice because
you can spin the roll to find the end. If you're an
under you have to really search for it.
So how do you learn to lead more effectively
from a roll of toilet paper? We all have unspoken
expectations. In this case, it's how the toilet
paper should go, but in life, it can be just about
anything. I have learned that most people don't fail
to meet your expectations because they can't, not
because they don't want to or not because they
don't care, but because they don't know what your
Meetings, projects and relationships all revolve
around our expectations of each other. When
people fail to meet yours, your first questions
should be: Did I clearly communicate what my
I'll give you an example. My husband decided
to clean our grill, and while he put it back together,
he didn't put the grease pan back in. While I was
grilling up hamburgers, my little white dog sat
under the grease pan licking up all of the grease.
It was a sight to behold. I yelled into the house,
"I can't believe you didn't replace the grease pan!"
He yelled back, "I can't believe you started to grill
without checking first!"
What had just happened? While this is a trivial
example, the same kind of thing happens in every
household, in every office and in every relationship.
We get frustrated with people for not doing what we
had expected them to do, when in reality, they can't
read our mind and may not have even known what
our expectation really was.
Effective leaders, regardless of title or status
in an organization, establish clear expectations
consistently and provide immediate feedback if the
expectations are not being met.
Take time to think about your expectations and
then communicate them. It could be as simple
as clearly explaining that you expect someone to
meet a deadline or not engage you in office gossip.
Communicating expectations, whether they are a
skill, behavior or attitude, is essential for effective
leadership and influence.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Government Connections - Spring 2014
Protocol and Government Meetings
Know Your Bell Curve
A Leadership Lesson from Toilet Paper
Education Day Highlights New Focus on Outreach and Advocacy
Meet a Member
Government Connections - Spring 2014