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Painless Performance Conversations: A Practical Approach to Critical Day-to-Day Workplace Discussions by Marnie E. Green

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3

Form Clear Expectations

Making Your List

We tend to get what we expect.

—Norman Vincent Peale

Employees are not mind readers. So why do managers often say:

“The employee really should know that. He's been through training.”
“Everybody knows that's not appropriate or acceptable.”
“Isn't that just common sense?”
“Everybody else can do it without hand holding. Why can't she?”
“Doesn't everyone know they are supposed to be courteous and accurate?”

What if all you had to do was imagine a job well done and employees would carry out the work just as you have imagined? Unfortunately, it doesn't work like that. If you were promoted up the ranks and came into the job of management with experience and expertise related to the job you are now managing, it's easy to see the technical solutions. You know exactly what your success tools are. Your employees, however, may not have the same experience with the work as you do. Now, instead of doing the tasks, your job is to convey clear expectations and help employees achieve them. Essentially, your new success tool is to be clear and specific about what you expect.

All managers hope that employees understand the basic tenets of good, professional work. However, what good looks like to you may be very different from what the employee thinks is good. What may be taboo in your work unit may have been standard practice in the employee's previous experience.

For employees to be successful, your number one job must be to help your employees see your ...

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