3 Steps to Improved Relationships

Manage expectations with clients, employees and family

Restaurant sign
A little assessment goes a long way to creating happy outcomes

Inc. magazine suggested that perhaps the most underrated leadership skill is managing expectations.

A little effort at the beginning and along route eases frustration of relationships with clients, employees, friends and family. Click To Tweet

Mister, when you have an important job to do never assume. When you look at the word you can see it is made up of three parts—ass u and me. When you rely on assumptions, sooner or later it will make an ass of both of us.

–Colonel Clarence L. Lollar in “Combat Crew: Strategic Air Command”

It seems that the true genesis of this famous quote is actually anonymous. But it resonates with all of us. We know the wrong assumptions can lead to disaster.

Part of the trend to teach soft skills to improve teamwork applies to the client/vendor relationship. Making the wrong assumptions can cost both parties time and money, let alone the stress of poor results.

This sign in a BBQ restaurant shares a marketing point-of-view to cull non-prospects so no one wastes their time by letting you know what to expect: BBQ that’s slow-cooked and service that’s relaxed. This is not a fast-food joint.

Three Steps: Assessment, Agreement, Repeat

Try these three steps (or send to a friend):

1️⃣ 🔍 Do a deep dive to discover expectations of both parties. 🆓Grab this free Discovery Questionnaire to start an exercise that will unearth unspoken anticipations and wishes. This process should yield elements to craft a mutual agreement for a rosier future for all parties.

2️⃣📋 Next, a vendor should draft a Statement-of-Work as agreed upon. This may include metrics and timeline for reasonable expectations, based on activities and responsibilities by both parts.  

3️⃣ 🩺 During the relationship, perform regular check-ups to evaluate the success of results or lack thereof. Discuss what changes need to be made to improve outcomes and modify agreements.

With a little practice, this assessment, agreement and reassessment routine takes the grief out of head-butting and head-banging caused by poor assumptions, likely saving time and money. A WIN-WIN for all parties.


See bio at dmcenter.com/about or linkedin.com/in/jancarroza.