- Business Leader Koen Vanpraet explains that setting clear expectations is the most important thing when it comes to building stronger teams. Not only setting those expectations but setting them straight from the beginning.
- As managers, Koen Vanpraet believes that it’s important to be flexible with your expectations. Combine the expectations with a genuine belief that your team can and will accomplish what is expected, and that you, the leader, will always be available to help pave the way.
- You don’t want to communicate for the sake of communicating. Effective leaders know when they need to talk and, more importantly, when they need to listen.
Koen Vanpraet is one of the leading management consultants in the world today. He has helped countless businesses improve workflows, upskill their teams, and just overall take their productivity to the next level.
Koen Vanpraet agreed to do an interview with me, where we talked about everything related to team building; how to keep a team motivated, how to keep them happy, and how to set a project up for success immediately.
I’m going to share that interview with you because I honestly believe Koen Vanpraet’s advice will help you build extremely strong and happy teams. Let’s get to it!
How important is setting clear expectations? How soon should those expectations be established? Can it be intimidating for a team to have a bunch of expectations thrown in their face immediately?
Setting clear expectations is the most important thing. Not only setting those expectations but setting them straight from the beginning. I mean immediately and extremely clear.
It could be intimidating, especially if you deliver the expectations in the wrong way and refuse to take feedback.
Do you think it’s important to be flexible with your expectations? Why or why not?
I believe that we, as managers and leaders, should mold our expectations in reality. And the only people that will know how fair your expectations are the people on your team.
So ask for feedback, and talk it out. I have worked with many people that do not mind strict expectations, but these expectations need to be grounded in reality and fair.
Do you think a lot of leaders fail to see their members as people? How’s that affect productivity?
Definitely, not only workers, but the team members themselves may forget that they are working with people. You know, it is very easy to fall into a mindset that everyone is just a robot working.
This can be amplified depending on which industry you’re working in. People are social creatures, so as a leader, you need to do your best to socialize with your team and promote them socializing amongst themselves so everyone can remember everyone else is human too.
I think it affects productivity quite a bit. When I worked for others, I would be much more motivated and productive if I knew my leader had my back, knew who I was, and would treat me like a human being.
You talked about communication, so how much should a leader communicate? Is there such a thing as overdoing it?
Yes and no. You don’t want to communicate for the sake of communicating. You want to be communicating important things so that you don’t just annoy your team with nonsense. However, there is no such thing as too much communication.
If something needs to be communicated, then you need to communicate it, plain and simple. Don’t put it off because you think it might annoy someone.
But again, make sure you’re not having meetings and wasting peoples’ time for nothing. That is counterproductive as it will take people from their work and more importantly, crush morale.
How important is positivity in the leader role? What about the role of a team member?
Both are extremely important. Negativity is so contagious. It’s amplified in the leader role. If your leader is negative and doesn’t believe in a project, then why should you?
On the other side, if a team member is a negative person, it’s your job to figure out why as a leader. Maybe they have a very good reason for their attitude.
About Koen Vanpraet: Koen Vanpraet is a renowned business leader, management consulting pro, and client advocate who loves to inspire teams. Just recently, he was announced as Moneycorp’s EMEA CEO.
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