• Birgitta Sjöstrand

Expectations – Exercise For Team Development


When at work, what do we expect from each other and from the manager? Is it pronounced or do we need to be mind-readers? Here is a great short exercise to do at a staff meeting.



  • Time allocated: 45 minutes, staff meeting with all employees in the team

  • Purpose: Clarify the expectations of each other in the group and also what the employees expect of their manager.

  • Outcome: Improved communication, clear expectations, no more guessing or mindreading

Background: What do we expect from each other and from the manager? Is it pronounced or do we need to be mind-readers? Our belief system is working in overload. Since we all have our very own map or outlook of the world, it may not actually match what others think or experience. To clarify your communication within the team and clarity the expectation we have of each other, makes the group develop faster.

The exercise is in three parts.


Part 1: Expectations of the manager

Everyone (including the manager) write post-it notes, as many as they want with one expectation per note. The question is "What expectations do you have on your manager?"

When everyone has put up their notes on the wall/whiteboard/window, categorise them in clusters (there are often similar notes that can be put together). The manager reads all the notes aloud and confirm that it is a reasonable expectation or not a reasonable expectation. There might be desires that cannot be fulfilled. This clarifies what the employees can and can’t expect.


Part 2: Expectations of employees and colleagues

Everyone (including the manager) writes post-it notes, as many as they want with one expectation per note. The question is "What can we expect from you as a co-worker and colleague?"

When everyone has put up their notes, categorize and go through the different categories one by one. The manager reads the notes aloud and ask the question to the group if they can confirm whether it is a reasonable expectation or not a reasonable expectation.

The boss has a veto - i.e. The expectations the manager has of his/her employees cannot be denied.


Part 3: Discussion in small groups of 3-4 people

Everyone will take an expectation each.

Discuss:

- What does this expectation mean to us?

- What would we need to improve to meet this particular expectation?

Share in the large group.

Record on flipchart or somewhere everyone has access to.


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