People & Human Resources

How realistic are your expectations of your team and colleagues?

Pollyanna Lenkic /

How often have you shouted to ask people to stop shouting? (Confession: me at my girls this morning. Sorry, girls.)

How often have you picked up the phone in anger because you are in the middle of something and the call comes at an inconvenient time?

How often have you blamed your manager for lack of leadership yet you haven’t taken responsibility for your own?

Welcome to the human condition!

We punish, push and act incongruently to the behaviours and change that we want because we are human. Being human doesn’t pause whilst at work.

A consistent theme within teams that emerges is the frustration and resulting behaviours when people aren’t meeting expectations. This shows up between individuals and from team members towards their managers/leaders. Team members are often caught in the paradox of wanting autonomy (space to grow and develop) but criticising management for not providing greater direction (less room for growth and development, however, it’s safer here).

Today I invite you and your team to have a conversation about the expectations you have of each other and to check in if they are realistic and agreed upon. Is your current way of working together maximising:

  • your growth and potential
  • the team’s growth and potential
  • the organisation’s growth and potential

Put down the whip (blame, anger and frustration) and replace it with personal accountability, respect and support and watch morale improve. There is a misconception that the whipping comes only from leaders, but it’s something we are all capable of regardless of our position within the team.

Recycling an old metaphor, whether a fish rots from the head or from the tail, the result is the same – a rotten fish!

Whether you are the most senior or junior person in your team, be conscious of your own behaviour and the impact this has; choose to operate in a positive way to improve your team’s morale and results.  

Also, remember to apply this to the most important team you are a part of – your family.

Pollyanna Lenkic is the founder of Perspectives Coaching, an Australian-based coaching and training company.

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Pollyanna Lenkic

Pollyanna Lenkic is a leading expert in building sustainable, high performing teams, who delivers a measured uplift of 25% in team performance. Her leadership programs provide the framework and confidence to help leaders create leaders and a leadership culture. To work with Pollyanna, visit pollyannalenkic.com.

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