How to Manage Team Frustrations and Fails. In Blackboard Fridays Episode 52, Jacob talks about Leadership. Need this implemented into your business? Talk to the international business advisor who can do exactly that – Contact Jacob, Learn More, or Subscribe for Updates.
In last week’s episode on Customer Service we learnt the super-simple Expectations framework, that explains how we often let our customers down. Did you know the same tool can be used internally in your business, to manage frustration and team member fails?
Clearly communicated Expectations are the first layer of Context [https://jacobaldridge.com/business/context-and-the-5-whys/] and the first place to look when Stuff is going wrong in your business.
Click here to learn the ridiculously easy 3 step process for turning a team fail into change that WOWs.
Who is Jacob Aldridge, Business Coach?
“The smart and quirky advisor who gets sh!t done in business.” Back independent since 2019.
Since April 2006, I’ve been an international business advisor providing bespoke solutions for privately-owned businesses with 12-96 employees.
At this stage you have proven your business model, but you’re struggling to turn aspirations into day-to-day reality. You are still responsible for all 28 areas of your business, but you don’t have the time or budget to hire 28 different experts.
You need 1 person you can trust who can show you how everything in your business is connected, and which areas to prioritise first.
Here’s a little ditty about Jack and Diane. Now not the one you’re thinking of. In this example Jack is a business owner and Diane one of his most celebrated and loyal employees. Lately, Diane has just been frustrating the heck out of Jack. Is this something you’ve ever experienced in your business, team members, may be great team members who just start to really frustrate you? Or maybe you’ve even got a situation where different team members are grading on each other, where frustrations are starting to build in?
I’ll let you in on a little secret. You’re pretty much like every other business but there is a simple approach to identifying and addressing those frustrations in your business. It’s related to the conversation we had in last week’s episode about expectations, whether you’re failing to meet them or whether you’re creating the wow.
You might recall energetically last week we talked about how if you meet an expectation for your clients, that kind of feels okay. It’s not amazing. It’s good enough. If you exceed the expectation, that’s fantastic! Big smiley face. If you fail to meet an expectation, that’s a failure. Now, this applies for your team members as much as it does for your clients, and we can reverse engineer the entire process. If failing to meet an expectation creates a frowny face of frustration, then it stands to reason having that frustration, feeling the frowny face about one of your team members, links back to an expectation that hasn’t been delivered.
So, how do you go about this? Well, it’s as simple as taking the time yourself to go, “Okay, if I’m feeling down about Diane, the number one question I have to ask myself is what expectation that I have is Diane failing to meet?” Now, this can be challenging sometimes. Often, it’s so much easier to just build up a whole story about all of the things that she’s doing but really at the heart of it, you have an expectation that the other person is failing to deliver and that’s why you’re feeling frustrated.
Once you’ve identified what that expectation is, the second question is has that expectation in your business being both documented and communicated? Often when I push people to answer that question honestly, they have to admit that no, it hasn’t. They might have that expectation. Jack’s got that expectation as the business owner but he’s never written it down. He’s never explicitly told Diane that he expects her to behave in a certain way.
If you don’t set clear expectations with your team, how on earth can you expect that they’re going to meet them? So, if the answer is no, that expectation has not been documented and communicated, then your solution is easy. Here is an opportunity for you to document and communicate that with the team and to ensure that in the future that expectation has been met.
Possibly the answer is yes. Yes, that expectation has been clearly documented and communicated. Most commonly I see in terms of client service, where a lot of these do get documented in business, the frustration comes when a team member fails to service the client the way that you have documented and communicated. In this case, you do need to manage.
But the good thing is, you’ve got the very clear anchor to communicate back to. You can sit down and say, “I have this specific expectation of you Diane. It’s been documented, it’s been communicated with you, and I need you to continue to meet that expectation for our clients, for our team within our culture.”
Lastly, and perhaps most critically, especially if your team have some frustrations with each other, is you need to have this conversation first with yourself, and then with the other person and most importantly, it needs to be a direct conversation. None of this water cooler gossip, none of this “Diane is frustrating me, so I’m gonna go and tell 10 other people in the business before I actually have a conversation with her.” You need to set the expectation as a business, that if somebody is frustrated with somebody else in the business, that’s the only person they need to talk to. This is the process in the conversation that they need to have.
If you can achieve this, then you can prevent fails from setting into a business, and you can create a workplace culture where people are both meeting expectations and creating the opportunity to wow each other and create a really vibrant energetic place for your team to work.
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