Why Everyone Needs Clear Expectations & Limitations

Why Everyone Needs Clear Expectations & Limitations

At the start of the new year, I retained a personal workout trainer. While I can lift weights, and pedal a stationary bike by myself, I know the right personal workout trainer will improve my workout performance, giving me a better ROI on the time I spend in the gym. BTW: the same thing happens when I start coaching a Team Leader – they are (most of the time) capable of doing the job or they wouldn’t have the job, but they need to go from being good to being great and Performance Coaching is a tool to achieve that goal.

My first training session with the trainer started off with a conversation about the expectations I have for my work outs (I want to improve the quality of my life, not win the Mr. Universe contest) and, perhaps more importantly, letting him know upfront my limitations when it comes to lifting weights (as much as I hate to admit it, my body with two replacement knees, a plate in the right wrist and a variety of aches and pains cannot do what my 23 year old body could do, even with the application of more focus and desire). She then told me her training philosophy and how, based on what I told her, that would apply to me personally. At the end of that conversation, we both felt we could work together and so we started.

It was this initial conversation that established the parameters of our working relationship. That’s not to say it won’t change over time, but we both needed a realistic starting point so we could start doing what we both needed to do: her developing a workout routine that suited my particular skill set and me knowing she would do that.

The Coach’s Corner: This same honest and clear conversation about expectations and limitations needs to occur at the beginning of every work relationship (and also with every personal relationship). The “deception dance” we often engage in when we try to entice someone to either hire us or work for us hides realistic expectations and limitations. This sets the relationship up to ultimately disappoint as reality sets in and we discover expectations are not going to be met and the limitations reveal themselves. Better to be honest at the beginning and eliminate the angst that comes from being in a bad relationship.

I could be wrong… but I’m not. 

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