Ever have that gut feeling when something isn’t going quite right? We’ve all been there.
But as the old saying goes, “Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it.” Whether you’re a project manager or you just want to make your next project go more smoothly, here are four simple ways to better manage expectations, react wisely and build a healthy relationship right from the start.
4 Ways to Stay on the Same Page
1. Set Expectations Early
No two people are alike. Nor should they be managed the same way. Learn what’s important to each business stakeholder who has a vested interest in the project, and tailor your approach to each of those individuals.
Prioritize whatever matters most when it comes to regular check-ins, critical data within status reports and who else should be informed to keep the project moving. Encourage open and transparent communication all along the way to build trust – and keep it – throughout the lifecycle of the partnership.
2. Under-Promise, Over-Deliver
Sounds cliché, right? But it really isn’t. Over-communicate to ensure there are no surprises, and find small ways to exceed expectations on items that you know are important to meeting everyone’s goals.
3. Check In Early and Often
When you set clear expectations from the beginning, it’s important to follow through with open, transparent communication. Be willing to accept both positive and constructive feedback.
- If you get positive feedback, share it with your team and celebrate the win.
- If it’s constructive, share it with your team and work through a solution to get it right the next time. Remember, it’s OK to hear that some things are less than ideal. If you’re asking for feedback early and often, it gives you ample time to make corrections and move onto success. It all contributes to building trust and creating a healthy partnership.
4. Learn & Apply Lessons
Whether it’s in the middle of a project or through a post mortem at the end, it’s so important to follow through with lessons learned.
If you discuss using another method to get different results, try it. Document it. Discuss what worked and what didn’t work with your client. Your team’s willingness to adapt for the greater good will build additional trust with your client (and others) in the future.