Ep 96 // Building a Cohesive Team and Hitting Goals with Clear Expectations


Executive and Leadership expert Akua is wrapping up her mini-series on expectation setting and goal setting in the workplace. In this episode, you'll also learn about the different resources that Akua has on the subject of expectation setting, including valuable blog posts and podcast episodes where you can just dip your toe or dive head first into the deep well of insights on expectation setting. 

As a leader or manager, it is important to set realistic and achievable goals and to provide the resources and support that others need to meet them. Perhaps most importantly, leaders must remember to provide feedback and to continuously communicate their expectations so all team members can be on the same page.

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What's Covered in this Episode About Goal Setting

  • Remember, there is nothing more demotivating for team members than being given an unrealistic KPI or expectation.¬†

  • We don't have to like everything we do. Don't give in to toxic positivity. Be real about your feelings.

  • When setting expectations for yourself, realize things are not always going to be perfect, and sometimes you'll need to ask for help.¬†

  • You and your team need to take breaks and vacations so they rejuvenate and come back motivated and excited to hit their goals.

  • Creating time and space to provide timely feedback, and to reflect and give yourself feedback, is critical.¬†

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Quotes from this Episode of Open Door Conversations

  • "Small steps is what leads to big results" - Akua Nyame-Mensah
  • We don't have to like everything we have to do, life isn't always positive." - Akua Nyame-Mensah
  • "As a leader, it's incredibly important for you to set expectations that are exciting, maybe even visionary, maybe challenging big unicorn goals however you want to define them." - Akua Nyame-Mensah

Mentioned in Building a Cohesive Team and Hitting Goals with Clear Expectations

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.

  • Complete her contact form to jump on a call.

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Here’s the transcript for episode 96 about Building a Cohesive Team and Hitting Goals with Clear Expectations

NOTE: Please excuse any errors in this transcript; it was created using an AI tool. Akua Nyame-Mensah 0:00 Small steps is what leads to big results. 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 high growth startups to multinational brands all around the world. In 2022. Alone, I serve 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 done. Let's tune into this week's episode. Hello, and welcome to this week's open door conversations podcast episode. I'm really excited because I'm rounding out my last mini series within my three step process series, all about making the most of you yourself and your leadership. This last mini series has focused on expectation setting. And one of the key things that we spoke about over the three episodes within this mini series is the importance of recognising that expectations need to be explicitly shared. The three episodes that are part of this series include episode number 93, where I introduced the concept of expectation setting, episode number 94, A Leaders Guide to setting expectations and episode number 95. Three overlook secrets for setting effective expectations and goals. One of the things I realised when putting together this mini series is how much content I already have around expectation setting. So within this episode, in addition to wrapping up this mini series, I also wanted to share some additional content that exists already on my website that can really support you in this area. Let's get into those pieces of content. This first one I think is incredibly juicy, and really important as we talk through the importance of expectation setting. So this first one is a blog post on how to improve your workplace culture by on learning toxic positivity, because life isn't always in quotes positive. As a leader, it's incredibly important for you to set expectations that are exciting, maybe even visionary, maybe challenging big unicorn goals however you want to define them. But it's also very important to provide not just your team, but also yourself with the time resources, capabilities, experts support to get there, there's nothing worse than working with a leader that simply blows off the importance of these very real world elements when it comes to achieving expectations. When setting expectations. Don't mask your feelings. Don't just try to get on with it. Don't dismiss or minimise the feelings of others don't feel guilty for shifting or pivoting because of new information that you've gathered about that expectation. Don't shame or chastise other people or even yourself for recognising for acknowledging or coming to the conclusion that a goal might take more time and resources. Most importantly, as it relates to expectation setting, don't brush things off. Once again, I'm not suggesting that you shouldn't set really hairy, scary, whatever you want to describe them goals. What I'm suggesting is that it's really important for you to work backwards, so they are achievable. Because 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. You don't have the power. You don't have the resources, you don't have the stakeholders to get it done. This first piece of content that I shared, I think is also closely related to this second piece of content that I thought was important to include in the summary episode. The title of this blog post is we are never 100% happy or excited to do our jobs. This is so important as it relates to thinking about the expectations that we set for ourselves. Sometimes we beat ourselves up get upset at ourselves, and maybe even allow other people to be upset at us, or impose or project their thoughts on how we should feel about having access to certain things having certain jobs and certain opportunities. We don't have to like everything we have to do, just like in quotes, life isn't always positive. And so setting that expectation that we have to like everything that we do, or if we're delegating to someone and setting that expectation, they should be liking everything they do, or they should show up in the exact same way that we showed up is only going to leave you disappointed. The next piece of content I want to share is a blog post, you can of course, read all pieces of these blog posts, I'll share the links in the show notes, some are super long, some are much shorter. This particular one's a bit on the longer side. But this next blog post is the top six limiting beliefs that sabotage successful delegation, in order to effectively execute and implement whatever vision goal KPI you have, it's very important that you find the right stakeholders and collaborators to support you with it, whether they're your superiors, team members, colleagues, peers, external service providers that you use, it's really important that you learn how to delegate that you sometimes give up control that you acknowledge not everyone will do it the way you will. It's completely normal to be slightly resistant. But you need to set that expectation for yourself that things are not always going to be perfect, and that you can't always do it by yourself. And this blog post really walks through those six limiting beliefs that get in the way of us being able to set effective expectations. So you can make the most of whatever collaborators and stakeholders you need. The next one I put in here, and then I've added to the show notes, I think is incredibly important based on the season we're in. And this is the expectation that you don't need to take breaks the expectation that you should always show up the expectation that you shouldn't have boundaries, around when and where this next piece of content is a blog post called four reasons you won't and can't take a vacation. It's one of my favourites to share with my clients. And so if you've ever set that expectation for yourself, or you work within an environment where you feel like there is an implicit expectation you can't take time off, I'd really recommend that you take a second to reflect on that. And maybe even go back to the previous episode, or I think it's two episodes before where I talk about expectations that are both implicit and explicit, you can be in within a work environment where you see the other leaders that seem successful, never taking time off, and therefore you feel like you shouldn't take time off, I promise you, that is not the case. And that might not be the best environment or culture for you. And if that's the culture you're creating, for others, you're not doing a good job of role modelling what it takes to be a successful human being we can't always be on, we can't always be doing things. And as I say that, it's really important to note that everyone's version of a vacation is going to look different, there is no one or right way to switch off. But there should be an expectation that people switch off at some point. So they can come back ready, excited and motivated to hit that vision out of the park to smash those goals to make sure whatever is under their responsibility is done to the best of their ability. So if you feel a constant sense of responsibility and control, you fear missing out on opportunities, you have the urge to keep up with emails at all hours of the day, I really would recommend that you take a second to reflect on some of the expectations that you're setting for yourself. And if you're in a leadership position, the implicit expectations you might be setting for others, and whether or not they're serving you. The last piece of content I wanted to share in relation to thinking about expectation setting is the importance of feedback or feed forward, whatever works for you. Ultimately, what I love to share about feedback is how important it is and how you need to try to provide feedback as soon as you possibly can. One thing that always comes to my mind when I think about feedback is when I was working full time for a company and receiving feedback six months after it would have been applicable, being told during the appraisal period that, hey, six months ago, I would have liked to do X, Y and Z. I remember thinking to myself, and possibly sharing this because I do have a bit of a smart mouth that hey, thanks so much for this feedback. It's useless at this point. And so as you think about setting expectations, one of the things that you should consider is where that feedback loop or that feed forward loop fits in creating space to give feedback not just to others, but also creating that space for yourself. And you might call that reflection is incredibly important. And so the piece of content that I've shared in the show notes related to love That's give better feedback, share some quick questions that you can reflect on. There are a tonne of frameworks, a tonne of systems out there. But if there's anything that you've learned, or anything I hope you take away from any of my content is that simple is better. And if you can't do the simple things, leverage the simple building blocks, there's no way you can build out or leverage some of these more complex and complicated approaches to giving feedback. That's the last piece of content that I wanted to share. They will all be linked up in the show notes. And I really would love to hear your thoughts on how you felt about this miniseries. It's a lot shorter than I thought it would be. But I am creating this content on the go. It's a new thing, but it's something that I'm trying out. And I hope if this is the first episode that you're listening to, within this series, that you go back to the first episode that really outlines my three step process my three step system, all about making leadership simple, and easy. As always, thank you so much for taking the time to listen. 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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