Lauren had come to her final day on the job, and she was fidgeting in her chair. “Should I tell her,” she wondered. She was sitting in her bosses’ office, being given the standard exit interview for summer interns at Reid-Davis. Maureen O’Connell was assistant to the chief purchasing agent, and Lauren’s boss for the summer. As a matter of courtesy, she asked if there was anything else she wanted to share as she finished her time with the company.
“Yes, well, the summer’s been great working here. So thanks. But, well, to tell the truth, I thought we might have worked more closely together.”
There, she’d said it. Now what?
The comment caught Maureen off guard, but she regrouped quickly and replied, “Yes, well I’m sorry for that. However, that was not the plan we laid out for you when we brought you here in May. And frankly, I’m wondering why you never shared that expectation with me? Especially if that was important to you.”
Lauren felt sheepish now. “Yeah, I guess I can’t expect you to read my mind, can I? It’s just that you did say I have great potential. And I saw how you worked with Ella. I really want to be doing what you are doing after I graduate. I guess I just thought you might want to work more with me, that’s all.”
Maureen only finds out about Lauren’s expectations after the window of opportunity has past. Why? Very simply, it was not shared when it could have made a difference. This is what we call “vocalizing”, speaking out clearly and understandably what we expect. As a result, the opportunity is missed, an employee leaves disappointed and a supervisor is frustrated. “If only she had shared that with me earlier.”
What expectations are you not vocalizing? What would happen if you shared the expectation you are holding back on sharing?
Next time: Why we don’t vocalize our expectations.
© Brian F. Reynolds BFRspace 2014
“What do you expect? The question you need to ask!” is available in paperback for $20 (Can) from Scarlet Cord Press – http://www.scarletcordpress.com