Overcoming a Lack of Shared Expectations

Arguably, the #1 source of friction and relationship erosion between a team leader and a team member is a lack of shared expectations.

We have all been there. (Perhaps you are there right now.)

Things start strong. Both team member and team leader are looking forward to great results in the new quarter.

Then, something goes sideways. Priorities conflict. Performance suffers. Panic sets in.

Eventually, the relationship is strained. Perhaps the team member disengages. Maybe the leader loses confidence in the individual. Possibly both occur. If it goes too far, one actively works to avoid the other.

Arguably, the seed of frustration and disappointment was sown at the outset. In all likelihood, you and the other person entered the situation with very different ideas of what winning looked like.

Over time, you begin to venture down different paths. Eventually, they can barely see each other

Here’s an IDEA you can put into practice to avoid future shared expectation issues. Before you start down the path of your next performance period, sit down with your team member, to exchange and come to agreement on IDEAs.

I – Investing

  • What investments will be made in the team member over the course of the performance period.
  • What will she learn?
  • How will the experience make her a better employee, more marketable, etc.?

D – Delivering

  • What results will be delivered?
  • How will customers be delighted?

E – Enhancing

  • How will the experience enhance the team’s offerings, services, or capabilities in the future?
  • What will we be able to do better at the end of the period?

A – Acquiring

  • Will we be able to acquire additional business along the way?
  • What new customers might we acuire?

If you want to put this IDEA into practice. Click here and download the free IDEA tool that I’ve used with my colleagues over the years.


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