What You Expect

Understanding and communicating what you expect sets the stage for success.  It will help you identify goals and objectives and frame interactions with your fellow co-workers.

Understanding what you want from each party will help minimize your frustrations and theirs. It will also help you determine the standard of performance you will set for yourself and your team.

Therefore, take some time to list your expectations of:

 (Note:  Click here for a worksheet to list what you expect at work.)


What You Expect

Of Yourself

Whether you found your leadership position or it found you, it stands to reason that your demonstrated performance set you apart from your peers. 

If that is the case, you probably hold yourself to a high standard of performance, not settling for average or mediocre work. 

This is good!  It serves as a solid foundation on which to build success in your leadership role.

Starting with your job description, determine what you must accomplish in your position.  Identify how you will measure success.  Lay out a plan to meet or exceed the expectations you have of yourself.

Of Your Boss

Although we may not verbalize it, we do have expectations of our boss. 

Based on my experience, people want a boss to be fair, respectful and cultivate an environment that fosters teamwork.  

We expect our boss to communicate their expectations and give feedback about how well we are performing against objectives.  Although we will receive constructive criticism, we seek to receive some positive feedback.

We also expect a boss to help us use our skills and talents to the best of our ability and provide opportunities for growth.

Now, we all have different needs.  So, you must be specific about your expectations, evaluate if they are reasonable and determine the best way to engage in two-way communication with your boss. 

For some, discussing this with your boss can be uncomfortable and even seem daunting, but developing your communication skills related to this area can be beneficial in the long term. (This HBR article gives insight into Managing Your Boss.)

Of Your Direct Reports

The same holds true with your direct reports.  Be upfront about what you look for in their performance and the way you envision the team working together to reach mutual goals. 

Be objective.  Seek to minimize subjectivity and base those expectations on a current position/job description.

Setting goals and objectives aligned with the organization's strategic objectives, monitoring progress and giving feedback on performance are key aspects of your role.

Of Your Peers

Although you do not have direct authority over your peers or their performance, you do have a level of influence.  Clearly communicating what you bring to the team can lay a good foundation for working well together. 

Want To Know More

To help prepare you for conversations with your boss, direct reports and peers, take a look at communication styles 

Need coaching to navigate these conversations?  Please contact Coach Gwen.

Improve Your Relationship with Your Boss

Are you looking to improve your relationship with your boss?  If so, the Boss Relationship Worksheet will help you better understand and communicate more effectively with your immediate supervisor.

To download your copy, submit your information on the form below.

Boss Relationship Worksheet

Please note that all fields followed by an asterisk must be filled in.

Please complete the challenge that you see below.


After completing the Boss Relationship Worksheet, you will find that the following will prove helpful in showing you how to cultivate a better working relationship with your boss:

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About Coach Gwen



Leaders don't







- Tom Peters


7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
Five Dysfunctions of a Team
For Your Improvement Coaching Guide