The Daily Challenge: Mind The Gap...The Expectation Gap.


The difference between assumptions and what actually happens.

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The Expectation Gap. 

Time to Read: 3 Mins

Expectations are our assumptions of what we think (or hope) will occur. Unfortunately, when expectations are misaligned they can cause unnecessary challenges. 

Expectations are the assumptions both you and your manager have around (1) the work you do and how you do it (your actions and behaviors), (2) your overall performance, and (3) what success looks like in your role.

To know what your manager expects of you, take the time to clarify expectations around:

  • Your Actions: the things you do

  • Your Behaviors: how you do it

  • Your Results: what happens after you do it

The most common problem with engagement and productivity is a gap in expectations. This is usually caused by miscommunication. But it’s avoidable!

Make sure you and your manager are on the same page about what your responsibilities are, and your priorities, and what you are expected to deliver.

Step 1: List the major actions expected of your role. What are your most significant responsibilities?

Step 2: For each action, reflect on the associated behavior expected of you. For example, what behaviors are expected in client interactions?

Consider whether you feel confident in your knowledge about how you should be performing your work and what the immediate priorities of your work are. For example, what 20% of your responsibilities does your manager expect you to spend 80% of your time on?

Step 3: Book your next 1:1 and add expectations to your agenda. If you don’t already have your next 1:1 booked, connect with your manager to decide on the timing and ask to put expectations of the agenda. 

Pro Tip: Make a note to check-in on expectations once a month. Are you still on the same page about which tasks and responsibilities to prioritize in your day-to-day. Where is your time most valuable?

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