Ep 95 // 3 Overlooked Secrets for Setting Effective Expectations and Goals

Ep 95

Want to improve on goal-setting or expectation-setting? This episode is for conscious leaders who want to enhance their approach to goal setting and create a positive and productive environment for themselves and their team. 

Expanding on her third pillar of leadership, expectation setting/goal setting, host Akua builds on themes from episode 93. She unveils the three overlooked aspects of goal setting, including the "when" or timing of the goal, who is responsible for the goal, and the definition of success. 

Learn the eight themes to reflect on as a leader as well as themes to reflect on when it comes to working with others! 

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What's Covered in this Episode About Leadership Techniques

  • Learn to set clear and achievable expectations that will help you and your team succeed.¬†
  • Utilize the R.A.C.I. framework to clarify roles and responsibilities so everyone knows their responsibilities. This will ensure that everyone is on the same page.
  • Communicate expectations clearly and consistently. Make sure that everyone understands the expectations.
  • Learn the importance of being open to feedback and adjust expectations as needed.¬†

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Quotes from this Episode of Open Door Conversations

  • "There is nothing more demotivating than recognising that you've been given an expectation or a goal or a KPI or responsible for a key results where you don't have the capacity." - Akua Nyame-Mensah
  • "You don't want to come across as someone who is moving the goalposts. So it's so very important that you document what that definition of success is, even if it changes over time." - Akua Nyame-Mensah
  • "Are you creating routines and habits that allow you to build the trust in yourself? Or are you just going for these moonshot big, hairy, scary goals that ultimately make you lose trust in yourself because you haven't taken the time to actually break them down into achievable chunks." - Akua Nyame-Mensah

Mentioned in 3 Overlooked Secrets for Setting Effective Expectations and Goals

Get to Know the Host of the Open Door Conversations Podcast

Learn more about your host, Akua Nyame-Mensah.

Akua is a certified executive and leadership coach, recognized learning and organizational development facilitator, speaker, and former startup executive. 

Since 2018, she has had the opportunity to partner with amazing organizations, from high-growth startups to multinational brands all around the world, to maximize people, performance, and profit.  Outside of her coaching and corporate speaking engagements, she is a regular mentor, coach, and judge for various entrepreneurship-focused organizations.

Stay in touch with Akua Nyame-Mensah, Leadership & Culture Advisor:

  • Read about Akua‚Äôs services if you‚Äôd like to learn more about how you can hire her to help you strengthen your organization‚Äôs culture.

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Here’s the transcript for episode 95 about 3 Overlooked Secrets for Setting Effective Expectations and Goals

NOTE: Please excuse any errors in this transcript; it was created using an AI tool. Akua Nyame-Mensah 00:00 I'm 99% sure you are setting and communicating your goals wrong. Hello and welcome to the open door conversations podcast. My name is Akua Nyame-Mensah. I also respond to Aqua and Akua. I'm a certified executive and leadership coach recognised learning and organisational development facilitator, speaker and former startup executive. And I am so excited because this year I'm celebrating five years of working for myself five years of supporting leaders. And I am so grateful because I've had the opportunity to partner with amazing organisations, from hydro startups to multinational brands all around the world. In 2022. Alone, I served over 600 Yes, over 600 leaders around the world. And in this podcast, you will have the opportunity to learn my three step leadership framework. I actually break it down in Episode 71. I use this framework with my high achieving and entrepreneurial minded clients that are juggling a million responsibilities so they can easily build wealth. This three step framework is going to teach you how to leverage your innate personality to learn how to prioritise and maximise not just your time, but also your money. You don't have to work harder or turn into someone else to get more garden. Let's tune into this week's episode. Hello, and welcome to this week's open door conversations podcast episode, I'm really excited to continue on my conversation to continue my mini series on expectation setting. And today I'd be talking about the three things that we tend to overlook the three things we tend to miss when it comes to setting expectations not just for ourselves, but also for others. And the last episode, I talked about those three elements. So the first a quick reminder, the first the when the timing of the goal, the second who is actually responsible for that goal, or that expectation, and number three, something that we tend to not spend enough time on the definition of success. And what I'd like to do in today's episode is break that down a little bit further, I'm also going to share some additional themes, I think that any leader needs to consider as it relates to setting goals for themselves. And for others. If this is the first episode you're ever listening to, please make sure you go back to the beginning of this mini series, I'm talking all about expectation setting within my three step leadership framework. I believe that leadership is a system, it's a cycle. And there's certain things that we need to consider. And always keep in mind. And from my perspective, and based on what I've seen with my clients expectation setting is a big one. And so today, I wanted to share the three things related to expectation setting that I think we tend to overlook. If you want some additional thoughts on things that you can consider related to goal setting or expectation setting, I use those two interchangeably, please check out episode number 20, which is check in with your goals now, which is very important to make sure you're on the right track. It's also very important so that you can pivot if you're not able to hit your goals, or you're not achieving what you would like to achieve in order to reach your goals in a timely manner. So let's jump into these three things that I introduced. And this first one here, it's the win, right? The win related to the goals is something that we tend to overlook, we tend to not communicate or we just tend not to even consider until it's too late, the win or that time bound components. If you've listened to any of my previous expectation setting or goal setting related content, I tend to talk a lot about the SMART framework or the smart approach to setting goals. And I think it's still incredibly relevant and useful. But it's so important for us to make sure that we consider the win and the timing of the goals that we're setting. And in my last episode, I talked a little bit about my thought process that I use to make sure I'm creating enough time to set goals for myself. And it's something that you can also consider when you're thinking about giving other expectations or other goals to others. When I talk about the win or that time bound piece. It's not just about when a goal should be done by but it's also important that we consider when we're going to check in or review that goal. So that's something I wanted to make sure that I also included when I talk about these top three things that we tend to miss and something that I talk a lot about in some of my other content related to goal setting and expectation setting. So that's the first thing I just wanted to share. Let's get into the second thing and this is something a little bit Nua, this is something that I've never necessarily shared before. But I want to make sure that I bring it up. This particular framework that I'm going to share related to who is responsible, was first introduced to me by a client. This is something that she uses within her company. It's a corporate company. And I think it's something that everybody needs to consider. I use this, even with my consulting and advising work as well. And that is making sure we know who is responsible when a great way to do that is using the RACI framework and RACI stands for are responsible, a accountable, see, consulted, and I informed, it's a really great framework to use, especially if you're within a fast, you know, growing space, especially if you're working with people maybe who don't sit next to you so that everyone's aligned on who is responsible, who's accountable, who needs to be consulted, and who needs to be informed. I quickly just went online and did a quick search. And I found some definitions off of Monday. So Monday is a task management productivity management tool. And I really liked their definition. So I wanted to share that with you, especially if this is the first time you've ever heard of this particular framework. So responsible is a manager or team member who is directly responsible for successfully completing a project task accountable, which is the A is the person with the final authority over the successful completion of the specific task or deliverable. This is so important, because the two can be very difference consulted, which is also important to consider is someone with unique insights the team will consult. And last but not least informed. And this is incredibly important, especially within an organisation when it's maybe an executive that is sponsoring a specific initiative or sponsoring a specific project or task or responsibility. But informed is a client or executive who isn't directly involved. But you should keep up to speed. We are all working in very complex environments where many different people and different stakeholders might be needed. And using the RACI framework can be incredibly helpful. And I would actually argue empowering, because it actually helps you see who needs to be involved, who's making decisions, and who is ultimately responsible, which is incredibly important. And the environments we now work in. Another thing to consider as a relates to the second point, which is who is responsible. And you can also add to the RACI framework is considering the level of influence the person responsible of that particular task or project has. So what is their level of influence, what is their level within the organisation, because that's going to be an incredible important component, and have an impact on how quickly they can get something done and how quickly they can draw on other stakeholders if they need to be consulted for that particular project. So that's number two, and something that we tend to overlook a lot when it relates to setting expectations, who is responsible? Let's get to this third one, I talk about this so much. But I think it's so important for us to consider again, and this is something that comes up a lot when I'm talking to founders or people working within fast moving environments, because the definition of success moves a lot. And the key thing here is you don't want to come across as someone who is moving the goalposts. So it's so very important that you document what that definition of success is, even if it changes over time. So you literally should be documenting that the definition of success is changing and evolving. And all the parties that are responsible and accountable should be kept abreast of this changing definition of success. But here's some things that you can consider as it relates to the definition of success. I always talk about inputs and outputs. Another way to look at this would be outcomes and results. And when you talk about defining success, I think it's really important for you to think about what you have control over, I go into this a little bit more in depth in one of my previous podcast episodes. So if you look at the previous episode, I have some additional episodes that I mentioned in the shownotes. Take a look at those. It's in one of them, I'll try and make sure I put it in the show notes as well. But a key thing here is when we are defining success, it's important that we focus on what we or that team member who's responsible for that task or responsibility, what they have control over a quick example I always give you don't have control over whether or not you're able to convert a client, you don't ultimately we can't control other people. But what we control is how often we follow up what we share with them the different tools that we might bring up right our sales pitch. So those are all things that you should consider when you are defining what success is in relation to the expectations you set task responsibilities, however you want to define it at the highest As level you need to think about what are the inputs that individual? Or what are the inputs that I have control over versus what are the outcomes or outputs, that I may or may not have control over something to really consider as it relates to this definition of success. The second thing that you can consider in relation to this, and this is really about the performance piece is, are you going to be performance focused? And how to determine whether or not someone has performed and quotes correctly? So is it product focused, and once again, that can be outcome? And there are some products that you can measure and that makes sense in relation to that particular task? Or responsibility or position? Or is it process and that's more of how it's done. And that can be related more to things like checklists. So making sure that people follow the process correctly. And that's sort of how you determine whether or not they're performing. And once again, this is all in relation to that third element that we tend to overlook, which is the definition of success. So I ran through that really quickly. But I'd be really curious, you know, for those of you who are listening, which of these do you tend to overlook? Do you tend to overlook the when or the timing of the expectation, do you tend to overlook who is responsible for the expectation, or do you tend to overlook the definition of success, something for you to reflect on something for you to keep in mind, and hopefully, you thought of some things that you can already action, and you can already do differently in relation to your expectation setting, no matter what level you're doing this at. And this could also be within your personal life as well. I also wanted to just mention some themes that come up for individuals as it relates to expectation setting. And as I go through these, I really would recommend that you actually pause and reflect on these different pieces that I'm going to share, because all of us have some level of an internal dialogue in relation to expectations setting. And so these are themes, once again, that I see come up, these are themes that I see in myself, and I always encourage my clients to reflect on in some shape or form. So as it relates to expectation setting, I put down eight things that maybe relate a little bit more to us as leaders, and then I have three things as it relates to working with others. It's a lot I know, but some of these words might resonate, some of them might not resonate. So you can pick and choose, which maybe you journal on or reflect on a little bit more. But they all relate to expectation setting and executing, to move forward. So this first I have on here is control, it's incredibly important to think about our concept of control and think about what we actually have control over because that's also going to have an impact on our definition of success, it's also going to have an impact on whether or not we are being realistic about what's possible. So in terms of your internal narrative related to control what comes up for you the second one I have on here, and these next two actually might be somewhat related. So the second and third elements I have on here are themes I have on here, our respect and integrity, I think these are so important for us to reflect on in relation to expectations setting because when I think about my time, my calendar, you know, making sure things are time bound. And I think about the when I want to respect what I've set in motion, and sometimes respecting what I've set in motion is letting myself known reminding myself that, Hey, maybe I was too ambitious. And that's fine. And I think that also goes to this third one on here, which is integrity. And as it relates to integrity, it's, you know, the why potentially have that expectation setting. Why did I set that expectation? Does that expectation really align with some of my bigger goals? What does it mean, if I'm not checking in, in relation to these expectations that I've set for myself and others? Am I consistent as I set these expectations and what I do in relation to them? Number four, accountability? How am I going to hold myself accountable? Another thing that comes up in relation to thinking about expectation setting is trust and self trust? Do you trust yourself? Are you creating routines and habits that allow you to build the trust in yourself? Or are you just going for these moonshot big, hairy, scary goals that ultimately make you lose trust in yourself because you haven't taken the time to actually break them down into achievable chunks. Number six I have on here in terms of the theme, I think is so important, and it's something that I think a lot about, and I encourage my clients to do, and that is appreciation and celebration, and that can be for yourself and others. But I think it's such a great way to make sure that you're appreciating how far you've come. You're celebrating yourself, you're celebrating others and you're recognising that growth that you've had, or that change that you've had or that direction that you're now going in but that can only come from setting expectations and setting goals and checking in and reviewing them numbers. Seven I think is also closely related to number six, which is acknowledgment. So acknowledging yourself acknowledging others acknowledging the journey, acknowledging that you were making a change, acknowledging that maybe you need to shift that expectation based on some data maybe that you've now had last but not least, and this actually might go up to number five, which is trust and self trust, is commitment. So what are you actually committed to, and I always love to share this idea about where we use our time and how our time shows what we're actually committed to shows what we're actually interested in. And once again, it's really important for us to reflect on where our time is going. But we shouldn't be so focused on not being able to get something done or not being able to achieve something because there might be something getting in the way of that. So being curious, asking questions about why the how, what can we do differently can go a lot further than being hard on ourselves, especially if we haven't followed through on something that we felt was important to us. So those are some of the key themes that could be coming up for you as it relates to expectation setting, especially internally, these, of course, are also related to expectations setting externally of us as well. But as it relates to working with others, I think there's three additional themes that come up for me, and that come up for my clients. And I think that we all could spend some time reflecting on the first is really incentives. And as it relates to incentives, there's a lot of interesting information out there about like a sense of not being aligned, you know, why people do what they do? The way I like to teach it is that no one else is you. And people do things for their own reasons. And so it's important to tap into those reasons that makes sense for that individual. But reflecting on incentives is very important when we talk about expectation setting for others. So what are those incentives? Are they financial? Are they emotional incentives, right, we get things out of not doing something or doing something, right, there's a little hit hormonal hit that we might get. So keeping some of those things in mind might be very helpful as you move forward. The second is ownership. When I think about expectation setting as it relates to ownership, I go back to this idea of the the RACI formula, the RACI framework, the R A C I that I think all of us need to keep in mind, and how can we make sure that people own their tasks and responsibilities and are really engaged with what they're doing. And then last but not least, as it relates to working with others, and this is something I think that is very much overlooked. And as I share this, please keep in mind, I'm not asking you to be a hard ass, I'm not asking you to be a teacher. But there does need to be consequences as it relates to expectations. And as you think about those consequences, it's really important that you're able to apply them consistently, right. So there should be policies in place, it should be clear why there are these consequences. And of course, these consequences can look really different depending on where you work and what you do. But there should be some level of consequences and leaders that our effective leaders that are influential leaders that get hard things done, if that's something that's important to you, they make sure they think about those consequences. And those consequences might even be for themselves as well. So that's what I wanted to share today. And today's podcast episodes a little bit different maybe from what I've shared in the past. And I will say most of these I've been talking about straight off out of my head, I don't actually have that many notes today. And so some of this is very much just straight out of my head. And these are just some of the things that came through that I wanted to share with everyone as it relates to expectation setting. And I just felt like this is what I wanted to share this week. So as always, please let me know what you thought of this week's episode really excited to be talking about expectation setting because I think we really overlook it. And it's such an important component of being a leader and of building your leadership system. I might have one or two more episodes to finish out and fill out this mini series about expectation setting. But I'm just so excited that you continue to listen, and I'm really excited to be sharing and we'll be sharing some fun things that I've set some goals and expectations around and they're finally coming to fruition. I'm finally finalising them. So be on the lookout for some new things related to my business. And as always, stay safe and stay safe. Thank you so much for listening to this week's episode. Please share this episode with someone who can benefit from its contents. If you found this Episode helpful. I want to ask you to leave a review. This makes it easier for other people to find my podcast and also allows me to bring on even bigger guests, and even more fascinating stories. Thank you so much for listening again. Stay safe and stay sane


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