Being a team player, new parent work worries, and a scary promotion
“Being part of a team means having clear expectations of what it means to be a ‘team player.’” – Rebekah Kilzer
This week on the “Aim Higher” podcast, our panel members answer “mailbag” questions. I love these. When I give a speech, answering questions from the audience is often my favorite part of the time. It’s a chance to get feedback, to hear about what’s on people’s minds and learn something about—and from!—the audience. If you haven’t done so yet, I urge you to leave a mailbag note for me on any of my social media accounts. We can’t answer them all but we certainly try.
“Swooping in and doing it yourself is not being a team player.” – Drew Bordas
This week’s panel— Tammi Spayde, Drew Bordas and Rebekah Kilzer—answers three questions, all of which have one thing in common: unmet expectations.
We tackle the issue of a self-described “non-team player” who tries to sharpen those skills but hits a roadblock. We hear from a new mom who is challenged by a boss who expects more late-night work than fits into a reasonable schedule. And, last, we take a look at the really interesting situation of someone who gets their dream promotion … only to find it may be a nightmare.
It’s fascinating to me that so many problems in our work and our lives come from setting expectations that are both unrealistic, and then unaddressed after they’re unmet.
How do you manage expectations more realistically? Communication, both before and after. In all three cases covered in this week’s podcast, the person involved could have asked some questions before their issue came up to get a better idea of what to expect. And then, if things still didn’t go as expected, they could ask for clarification. Now, as leaders, we’re responsible for both modeling this behavior and making sure that we set up good communication processes for our entire organization. But anyone—worker, parent, coach, student—has a responsibility to ask questions, discover details and then reassess a situation when things don’t go as planned. Even if the situation can’t change, clear communications and realistic expectations can help everyone involved get to a solution that’s more equitable.
I hope you’ll listen in. We can always learn from other’s questions, and there’s always room to “aim higher” in our own ability to communicate clearly.
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