I have written in the Manager by Design blog about the scourge of public feedback. Public feedback is when managers try to solve performance problems by addressing their entire organization at once. I make the case that doing this a) does not change the behavior of the one needing to change and b) could make worse the behavior of those who are already performing correctly. Public feedback is an example of a manager short cut and should be stopped.
So let’s look at — in a more positive manner — what a manager should focus on doing in a public setting: Setting expectations.
I would like to recommend to all of you managers out there to focus your announcements, all-team meetings and proclamations on the theme of setting expectations. Doing so will help you down the course of leading, and the more you set expectations with your staff, the more likely they will actually do the things that you expect. So let’s look at some of the things you can do to set expectations.
a) Start your presentations or announcements with “I’d like to provide you my expectations.”
Perhaps this is too simple of an idea to even document, but how often do you hear managers doing this? Not enough in my estimation, so let’s increase this introductory statement on the part of managers. By using the “I’d like to provide you my expectations” line, you are now forced to articulate what you do want.
In doing this, you can now embark on a project that allows you to identify the behaviors and values that you’d like to see on your team. Let’s try a few!