High standards, high expectations: are you realistic?
You’ll agree with me: our business is our baby. We want things to run smoothly, we don’t want anything to fall between the cracks, and we want to get the job done right…
But sometimes our team drops the ball or performs a task efficiently, but not as exemplary as we would like…
Sometimes it makes us angry, disappointed, frustrated, or disempowered. We don’t know what to do to make sure that things are done according to our expectations, and we often question ourselves: are my expectations too high? Am I being too demanding?
As entrepreneurs, we all experience certain challenges related to team management. Here are the challenges I hear most often and possible solutions to explore:
Clarity of your positioning
Clarity is an intangible but important concept! Our business positioning is the anchor of our operations – and therefore of the client experience. Kia and Mercedes are both very profitable companies, but their business positioning is very different.
→ That said, here’s my question: If you were a car manufacturer, which one would you be?
The brain works in images first and words second (but we need words to create an image!). By selecting a clear positioning, you provide yourself and your team with a mental image that represents how you want to operate within your business.
For example, if you decide that you are Mercedes, you can then use this anchor to guide your operations, “If we were Mercedes, how could we accomplish this task?” or “How could we onboard a new client to feel like they are at Mercedes?”
By being clear about our business positioning, we align our actions with the standard we want to set.
Standards of perfection
I sometimes (often…!) notice entrepreneurs who demand higher standards from their team than they demand for themselves. Let me explain…
We want to be Mercedes. We want our clients to have that kind of client experience. But when we send an email to a client or a team member, we do it the Kia way – that is, without taking the time to polish and refine it: in short, it’s clean-cut and rather rushed as an email.
→ After clarifying your business positioning, ask yourself: Am I, myself, embodying that positioning? Am I delivering that experience to my team? (I invite you to watch this video on the client experience equation)
Just like a client who’s not an ideal client for you but is for another entrepreneur, sometimes a team member simply doesn’t have the ability to embody your positioning – by nature, this person is more “Kia” than “Mercedes.” This can be a difficult realization, but it happens.
And because it’s hard to find employees, because it takes time and energy to train an employee, and because you want to limit turnover (which could lead to uncertainty in the eyes of clients)… sometimes we keep an employee on the team for too long or in a role that doesn’t suit him or her – and that’s normal, that’s human.
But the reality is that as the gap between our expectations and reality widens, confidence is eroded, and that person’s self-esteem is likely to be affected. And to impact someone’s self-esteem is, in my opinion, one of the greatest harms we can do to anyone.
→ After you have clarified your positioning, after you have embodied your own positioning in your daily actions, ask yourself: Does this person have the capacity to do this too?
I don’t believe we should lower our standards of excellence – ever! But I do believe that we often lack clarity and alignment, that we need to better embody our positioning and ensure that everyone around us is in their zone of excellence. For it, we need clarity, aligned, embodied, and well surrounded that we will make our dream a reality.
Let’s be proud of our standards of excellence!