Many years ago, I worked for a boss who really didn’t like me. This became obvious the day he started to ignore me. And that got him into a little trouble.


By ignoring me, he avoided any level of reasonable expectations. So, when it came time for the dreaded annual review, he claimed poor performance and gave me a terrible review.
Now, some may have suggested that I move on and ignore it but I couldn’t. First, I just couldn’t because that is who I am. I was doing a good job, as far as I was concerned, and I had no indication otherwise.


Second, and most importantly, I was with a very large corporation and I was not sure this was not going to be my ‘career’ employer. A bad review would stick with me forever.
So I sought a little advice from a third party and decided to fight my case. If my boss had not set any expectations, achievable or otherwise, he did not have the right to claim ‘poor performance’. I was darned if this was going to happen to me.


expectations2As a manager, project or otherwise, please remember that your team needs a set of clear expectations and objectives laid out for them and reviewed on a regular basis – not just annually. It sounds easy but we all know it can be very difficult.


It takes planning and extra time but it is critical for everyone involved. Sometimes we are moving way too fast to not only plan too far ahead, but to bring others into the plan as well. These days I find myself in that exact position – moving too fast and not taking the time to get others on board and moving in the same direction with clear objectives and expectations.


I was reading a blog post on about this topic. ( The author sets up 5 steps to setting expectations for your team:
– Provide structure: clear boundaries, clear scope of work
– Clarify roles: Job descriptions and duties
– Set Goals: short, medium and long term – and achievable
– Give and receive feedback: all along the way – not just annually


So, ask yourself, or better yet, ask your team members if they feel they have a clear set of expectations from you.


If not – you probably have time to fix it.


Oh ya… my old boss eventually produced a completely new review.


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