Expectation Management Begins At Home

This week London had the Tube strikes. My husband was a strike newbie. Being a veteran of many enforced route marches across London caused by strikes, I expected bloody carnage and fisticuffs galore.

Knowing my much adored husband as I do, there were three choices.
1. Let me handle it.
Doomed before it begins, this one; we’re both control freaks.
2. Let him handle it.
See above, with added risk of classic newbie errors.
3. Let’s talk about options and agree a plan.
So we did. By the time we hit Liverpool St we were already on Plan A1, and were prepared to switch to Plan B in a frantic, adrenaline-laden panic in the face of a hoard of rabid, thwarted commuters.

Day One
The bus queue was there, but a bit half hearted in the queuing department by latecomers trying to find the queue amongst the crowd. Words were exchanged. Hand gestures offered. Dumb-ass looks of bewilderment were received. Result: 15 mins queuing to get seats on the top desk with great views of London.

Day Two
Lessons were learned. Not by us (let’s not forget I’m a battle weary commuting grunt) but by the station staff. The moved the queue. People were on hand to point the direction, metal gates were up at strategic points to stop queue barging, staff were communicative. Each and every one of us knew exactly what was expected of us, and exactly how we were going to be ladled onto a bus. And we all behaved impeccably. All hail Liverpool Street station staff, you were amazing.

It was the sweetest strike commute I have ever experienced.

In order to bring someone on a journey (physically and metaphorically) they need to feel part of the process. They need to feel they are being listened to, that their ideas are valid.

When bewildered, generally they decide to take matters into their own hands. This can lead to a downward spiral of feeling embarrassed at a heckling, reacting angrily to their embarrassment followed by storming off, or getting a little…..tactile.

Keep people informed and they go away. Keep silent, and they meddle with your plans – or start complaining vociferously.

Greater Anglia trains, I am available to train you, and your staff, about effective expectation management for stakeholders (that would be we commuting stiffs who agree to trade money for the service you advertise and infrequently deliver, not your shareholders).

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