People--your clients, for example--have expectations. Sometimes their expectations of you seem unreasonable. But sometimes your expectations of them seem just as unreasonable (in their eyes).
The problem is that these mismatched expectations can lead to misunderstandings, frayed nerves, and ruffled feathers. More seriously, they often lead to flawed systems, failed projects, and a drain on resources. Yet how often do you openly acknowledge these differences in expectations and take steps to better manage them? How often are you a victim of your own expectations of yourself?
Expectations are difficult to manage and impossible to turn off. Naomi Karten offers concrete ways to manage them, and in the process, to dramatically improve the effectiveness of your services.
Review By: William E. Lewis, Senior Technology Engineer 09/11/2002
People have expectations. The problem that often arises is that mismatched expectations can lead to misunderstanding, frayed nerves, and ruffled feathers. They often lead to flawed systems, failed projects, and drain on resources.
This book provides a systematic look at expectations and offers concrete ways to better manage them. By defining the vital role that expectations play, the book shows how you can do a better job of managing them, and in the process, dramatically improve the quality, impact, and effectiveness of your services.
Section 1 provides a starting point for managing expectations by becoming more conscious about what you communicate and how. Covered in this section are 1. guarding against conflicting messages; 2. use jargon with care; 3. identify communication preferences; and, 4. listen persuasively.
Section 2 emphasizes the importance of information-gathering skills in managing expectations. You can’t meet customers’ expectations if you don’t know what they want. Covered in this section are 1. help customers describe their needs; 2. become an information-gathering skeptic; 3. understand your customers’ context; and, 4. try the solution on for size.
Section 3 points out that on an organizational level, more is needed: an infrastructure that facilitates managing expectations consistently and over the long term. Covered in this section are 1. clarify customer perceptions; 2. set uncertainty-managing service standards; 3. when appropriate, just say whoa; and, 4. build win-win relationships.
The concluding section provides a comprehensive checklist to formulate an action plan and guidance on how to become an expectation manager.