CLOSING THE EXPECTATION GAP

Early on in my business I had the habit of hiring without thoroughly thinking through my needs. In my mind, one of the reasons business is set up is to be able to empower others and so every someone asked me for a job, rather than be clear if they had the skills I needed I would have hired them before realising that I didn’t think through the decision. Most of the time, I begin to hope and trust that somehow they will deliver.
Other times, I discover that they have some skill and assume that they know what it is they should be contributing to the business only to realise later that they had no clue what it was I expected from them. At still other times, those I hire have the exact requirements I need; I actually hired them because I was sure they fit with what I wanted to achieve; only snag is I imagine that they know what I want them to contribute; only to realise later that is not the case too.
The one thing common to all these different scenarios is that I didn’t expressly state my expectations and each time, I was either frustrated and had to fire them, or they were unhappy and quit.
The point of today’s post is that, as Leaderpreneurs, we need to be as clear as is possible with our expectations especially when adding new members to the team. Before you hire a team member, or engage the services of a contractor, make sure you are clear on what you expect.
Here are a few tips on how I get that done now:
1. Take time and think through what your needs are
2. Draw up a written list of what the best fit should look like or possess. (Not a long list, maybe four or five of your top most requirements).
3. Call for applications make sure the list of requirements is clear.
4. Have your first chat on the telephone and tell them what you expect while asking them to put together a document outlining how they intend to meet those requirements in practice.
5. When you meet with the prospects, ask them to explain what each item on that list means to them. (This gives you the opportunity to further clarify if you need to).
6. Take notes as you speak and take time out to review the notes to determine how aligned you feel they are. (I include in my notes even the vibes I am feeling as I chat with them).
While these tips are not exhaustive, I find that these work for me. Sometimes I even ask the prospect to put together their own job description based on their understanding of the requirements. The most important item on that list is to take the time out and think through what my needs are and do a comprehensive list.
The other thing I tend to do is let the prospect know even as they are joining that it is a trial period to ensure that we are both happy with the way we work together. And at least once I week I review our progress on how we work together and ask if they have anything they might want to change. If at the end of the time we are both convinced we are not a good fit, then we can quickly sever the relationship and make room for the necessary adjustments.
The reality about adding to the team is that we may never be able to tell 100% how a working relationship will turn out, but we can minimise the gaps and close them up considerably.
Tell me what expectation gaps you need to close as you live your dream. No matter what you do, remember that some people may not fit in one team and fit in another so keep an open mind and be thorough in adding to the team.
I am confident you will make it NeverTheLess.
Here is to your success!
Bidemi

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