The Secret Ingredient to Great Management

Women working at table

I was working with one of my great teams of leaders and their managers in a session we call the Mid-Managers Session. It is a group of about 25 people sitting at a horseshoe-shaped table in a big training room. 

Like other sessions I’ve conducted, I was taking them through some questions, showing them how to apply EOS® Tools to their leadership and management issues. But in this session, I was in a bit of a playful mood. 

The group was working through how to keep expectations clear with their direct reports. One of the team members asked, “Jim, I’m feeling good about how to make sure my team is clear on my expectations of them but not so much on how to get clear on their expectations of me.” I could not have asked for a better set-up.

The Secret Ingredient to Get Clear on Expectations

Many of the others nodded in agreement with the innocent victim’s question.  

“Okay, I am now about to tell you the secret ingredient to great management, which also happens to be how you get clear on your teams’ expectations of you. This is definitely something you want to write down.”  

The group all prepared to write down my breakthrough management technique. After a pregnant pause, I said: 

“You have to ask.” 

“That’s right, you actually have to ask them what their expectation is of you.” Yeah, I received a bit of a groan from the group, but it really is this simple. 

Every member of your team is different and has different needs and management expectations. This makes management tough, but also much more fun. In this world of management, where you have to manage everyone the way they need to be managed, it is essential that you ask.  

Ask them what their expectations of you are, what the right Meeting Pulse™ is for them, how best to communicate with them, and what makes them feel most appreciated. You will always get more value from a team that is getting their needs met.

To get the most from your people and be the manager your team deserves, you need to get out there and ask.

Previously published on the Nexus Business Solutions blog

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