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Articles > Positioning Systems Newsletter # 69 5-29-07 "Expectations"

How do I manage my staff effectively and not be too critical? It seems so many times my first reaction is to get angry at them. How can I respond to them constructively when I see their response or reaction to a situation is improper?

When was the last time you took a few minutes and reviewed your thoughts about yourself, your spouse, family members, customers and employees? Do you realize how impactful your expectations are on those around you?

The importance of having tools that help you think and be strategic with your own mindset as well as grooming the mindset of your staff is never more painfully significant than the example of how much our expectations influence the results of those who surround us.
There are several systems to help you respond constructively to your staff, one is simply recognizing how to provide constructive criticism through a formula [provided when you respond to this email]. But first you should analyze the expectations you have of your staff. At the same time you need to recognize that you can't manage people, you can only manage work, space, and time. These three can only be managed through having a system that you and your staff agree upon. We've discussed this several times in this newsletter in the past so let's look at how your expectations influence others.
Brian Tracy provided an example of this in his Psychology of Achievement Seminar series. He offered a San Francisco Bay academic study that was organized many years ago. The school division had selected first three teachers before the school year started and informed them they had been chosen for their high academic standards and ability to teach proficiently. In fact they were to, ld that the three of them had been selected because they were the top three teachers in the school system. They were then told that they were going to be given groups of students to teach that year that were equally intelligent and proficient, and that they were going to be expected to do very well with this group of students. The only requirement they had was that they were not allowed to inform the group of students the test was being conducted and that at no time were they allowed to inform them of how they had been selected.  
At the end of the school year the teachers were called back into the office and told of their results. Not surprising the students had done very well. In fact across the board these three teachers' classes scored at the top of test results for each of the subjects and students they had taught. They were the best students and classes in their academic area.   The teachers immediately gushed on about how easy it was to teach the students since they were so brilliant. Only then were they informed then that the students had been chosen completely at random. None of the students were any better or worse than any other students in any other classes. The teachers of course after getting over their initial puzzlement, reflected and then reasoned it must have been due to their teaching skills, after all each of them had been chosen because they were the best in their field.
You can imagine their shock and dismay when they were further informed that they had been chosen completely at random as well.
What can be made of this? The teacher's never told the students how brilliant they were, yet they performed as if they were.   What does it tell you about your expectations of the people in your life, particularly your staff, customers, and prospects?
Have you been guilty of having greater expectations or lesser expectations of your staff? Which do you feel serves you better?
In order to get maximum performance from our selves and those we surround ourselves with we need to have a system for offering the best that we expect from them. That means scheduling focused strategic time to reflect on ourselves, our business and our people. It means intentional strategic meetings with staff to plan and communicate the future. It means having a system to individually meet with staff to support, train, educate and inspire them to improve and provide positive input on their growth and expectations.
What systems do you have in place to provide these to yourself and your staff? Is your business strategically focused to provide positive expectations that you and your people can live up to? If you don't have a positive vision in place, is it possible you and your people are achieving the negative vision you have because that is the expectation you are sending?   Change your expectations. Create systems that will reinforce the new positive expectations you have and you can soon see a world of difference in you and your business. 
Finally, in one to one encounters with your staff when they make a mistake or you need to correct them do you know how to effectively provide constructive criticism, or do you apply destructive criticism? For the answer to that question, ask for the formula for constructive criticism that you can get through emailing us with the subject entitled: Constructive Criticism.
Do you recognize how much your own expectations and feeling of being in control have to do with your success in your business and your life? Next newsletter we will discuss that, and the results of testing done with clients which reveals some important information on why some succeed and others don't. 

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Positioning Systems helps business owners and entrepreneurs transform their business.  We provide the tools and coaching to help you take control of your business -- rather then having your business control you.