Let’s say you’re eager to make your mark on the job and impress your boss. When the opportunity arises for you to get noticed, you go for it. However, before you turn into a ‘yes, I can’ person, remember to manage your bosses expectations by being realistic about your own. So many of us get caught out making promises that we can’t deliver and no boss will be impressed with that. “Let’s revisit this is six months” is not what you want to hear when you’re sitting in your annual review. If you want to hear the words promotion and rise instead, here are a few fundamentals to help you keep reality in check.
- Clarity: Don’t assume anything. Make sure you know exactly what is expected of you when you take on a project. Be smart, take responsibility for getting the details right and making sure you and your boss are on the same page.
- Don’t make any assumptions. If you’re not sure about something, don’t hesitate to ask questions.
- Know what your key objectives are and if it’s a big project set goals. If you are a manager, delegate some work to your team and monitor their progress up to the final stages of delivery. Remember, the buck stops with you.
- Don’t go overboard. Do what’s asked of you and do it well. You can take the initiative to go above and beyond the call of duty, but run it by the boss first and only when you know you have the original task well and truly in hand.
- Communicate your progress, concerns and successes. Keep your boss in the loop via emails, phone calls, meetings – whatever is preferred. As long as you keep the lines of communication open you won’t get caught out.
- Be flexible: Being able to manage sudden change is a critical skill. Sometimes things don’t go according to plan and problems arise out of the blue. Being flexible will help you take it all in stride and find solutions through inspiration or collaboration.
- Plan B: Know what risks can stand in the way of your success. Always have a contingency plan. If you see things going wrong voice your concerns straight away while you have the opportunity to get back on track.
- Quiet confidence is a virtue. It’s great to be ambitious but no one likes a show off. Speak less and do more. Actions always speak louder than words.
Not living up to what we expect of ourselves can lead to stress, disappointment and sometimes depression as well. That is why it is so important to have realistic, well-considered goals and plans. If you keep it real, time measured and let go of excuses you will live up to your expectations . Don’t be discouraged when things don’t go as planned. Everything happens for a reason, and if you believe in yourself, you will end up where you’re supposed to be on your journey through life. Besides, you can learn a lot from a detour. Sometimes you have to go with the flow.
Great expectations are not realised over night. They need nurturing, cultivating and steely determination. You may even find your expectations and destinations change along the way, because that’s life.