Business & Leadership Behaviors Project Management Thoughts Random Thoughts

Expectations, Communications & Pumpkin Pie

It’s official.  The holidays are upon us.  Schedules get crazy.  It feels like there are more tasks than time to complete them.  Our days seem to be filled with managing expectations and clarifying communications – and untangling the outcomes when we aren’t successful with one or the other.

As much as we all know that things will not naturally align – it happens all the time – we still can easily fall into the trap of differing views and disappointment in results.  It happened to me again just this week.  It’s so aggravating – especially knowing how easily this can be avoided.

But at least around the holidays, there’s pie.



We all have a vision for how things will look when completed – whether that’s the year-end financial reports or the turkey for Thursday’s dinner.  Unfortunately, those visions aren’t always aligned across the board.

I may see supporting bar charts for our year-end reports where my teammate might see scatter plots and another envisions spreadsheet excerpts.  I may want to present results then distribute reports and others may prefer the order reversed.

In the end, all of us want to have a successful outcome – but what that looks like may vary depending on who you ask.



That’s where communications (ideally) kicks in.  Talking through concepts to ensure that assumptions aren’t guiding our perceptions is critical – and even better when done before getting started.  Being clear on what the end result needs to look like and taking our egos out of the equation can go a long way to ensuring that our year-end reports – or whatever projects you’re working through – are successful.

And it ensures that we don’t end up with 14 different kinds of potatoes – and no turkey.


There’s nothing new in these are basic reminders.  It just seems like this time of year, it is very easy to fall into the Assumption Trap.  It happens to me more frequently than I like to admit.

So taking a little time to talk and clarify expectations can go a long way to ensuring that the end of year efforts – and your holidays – are a lot more peaceful.

We hope that you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Around here, we are all very grateful to all of you and look forward to helping you to meet and exceed your own expectations for the coming year.

In the meantime, enjoy the pie!