Thursday, March 31, 2011

Setting Expectations !

I was sitting one day a few years back and preparing for my new soccer season coaching my first travel team (this was 7 years ago!).  I had all the drills ready, watched all the coaching videos, called on others and asked for advise, had my whole plan ready, I was ready to go!  Since I was a newbie to coaching, I wanted to make sure everyone was prepared for my style of coaching, so I wrote up a one page contract for the players and parents.  It explained my expectations of the parents and players and also showed what they should expect from me, we would both sign and everyone knew they needed to uphold the contact or there would be consequences.  It worked like a charm, I didn't have parents yelling instruction from the sidelines, everyone was on time for practices and games, the kids were respectful, and I made sure it was fun and fair!  So every year from there on my parents and players would expect to see this from me and enjoyed the relief of not having to assume anything but know exactly how things would work!

In our industry we all have good intentions of following through and doing what we set out to do from the initial contract signing, but some where because things happen in construction the expectation we set up from the beginning gets lost and we forget that the homeowner is still expecting this and we don't communicate and set new expectations up to keep them feeling good about the process.

Some things I like to do:
  • At the beginning of the project above the contract, send a one page "what to expect now" sheet, pointing out what they should be expecting from us and what we expect of them
  • Have a daily log for your Project Manager to leave with the homeowner telling what they have done and what can be expected the following day. We sign and they sign ! 
  • Call through out the conversation and keep "taking their temperature" to be sure they are feeling all "warm and fuzzy" still about the project!

Once I learned this and applied it to all aspects of my life it changed everything, from my personal life to my professional career. 

The more communication we have whether big or small is so valuable during the process and will set us apart from everyone else, you will be remembered and homeowners will be talking about you !