This morning, as my kids (young adults) were preparing to go on a trip, I asked them to “clean the kitchen” before they left. An hour later I walked into the kitchen and saw a sink full of dirty dishes.
I know I’ve told them before that “cleaning the kitchen” includes doing the dishes.
But I also know that I wasn’t explicit in my instructions – I’ve been there before as well! When I had employees I used to make the same mistake – tell them what I needed done, but not exactly what I expected.
So I didn’t get angry at the kids today – I clarified my instructions, and the dishes were done by the time they left on their trip.
No reason for me to get angry at them for forgetting to wash the dishes when at my age I still forget to tell people exactly what I expect!
So I am going to really work on that over the next year – training myself to tell people what I expect as an outcome, instead of “what to do”. Checklists tell people what to do – leaders inspire people to deliver the expected outcome.