Performance Management/Expectations

How better might any relationship be if we all agreed what our expectations are of each other first?

If a boss was able to say to each of their direct reports- ‘what style of management would you like me to use to get the best out of you’?

If we were able to be clear with our direct reports the preferred behaviours that are required to undertake specific roles.

The use of Relationship Awareness tools to set and manage performance expectations frequently involves several people and is applied for multiple purposes within organisations. Following are several examples of how these tools have been integrated in performance management systems. As a generality, the Expectations Edition of the SDI and Portraits of Strengths is used in small group or individual settings after all the people involved have taken the SDI and are familiar with their own results and the results of others in the organisation.

Individual Expectations

This typically involves a supervisor and a direct report completing the Expectations Edition of the SDI & Portrait of Strengths about the direct report’s job and having a discussion how the results compare with the direct report’s SDI & Portrait of Strengths.

The supervisor and the direct report may have similar or differing expectations when things are going well and in conflict. There may or may not be similarities between these expectations and the direct report’s SDI/Portrait of Strengths result. The discussion centres on agreeing on expectations first. During this phase of the discussion unrealistic expectations can be abandoned and both supervisor and direct report can refine their understanding of the position. This sometimes highlights the need to restructure a position. After gaining consensus on expectations, they can identify times that the direct report could borrow other behaviours to be more effective.

 Some supervisors like to have a second set of Expectations Editions completed on the supervisor’s job. Discussion of these results helps direct reports to understand the supervisor’s job, highlights ways that the supervisor can be more effective with that person, and provides a valuable opportunity for upward feedback. This upward expectations management is usually conducted with each feedback provider during a 360-degree Expectations setting exercise.

360-Degree Expectations

A manager or leader may want to understand the expectations of the people with whom they work. Invited stakeholders such as direct reports, peers, senior managers, customers, etc. can complete the Expectations Edition of the SDI. Comparing the arrows generated by others to the SDI result of the person in the job can yield either confirmation of a good fit, or opportunities for the person in the job to borrow behaviour to be more effective with certain individuals or groups.

Creating new positions

This process can work on an individual or on a 360-degree basis. The twist here is that a new position is being created and there is no person in the job to provide SDI results. When expectations are identified, they can be clearly communicated to people who have an interest in the position in an effort to select the right candidate. It should be noted that the Expectations Edition, like all of our inventories, is not a selection tool and we do not recommend giving any of our tools to job applicants.

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