Communicating expectations early and often in a relationship is critical.  This is one of the best leadership (and all around life) nuggets I’ve ever learned.  Clear, explicit communication (in writing when needed) between employer/employee, supervisor/agent, friends, siblings, business partners or life partners, is the lifeblood of a great relationship.  It’s when we make assumptions about the relationship that we get in trouble.  Instead of assuming and hoping, be sure to ask questions, and to clarify and document.

When leading people, a great method is to meet one on one (praise in public, give corrections in private) with your team member and verbally communicate what needs to be said.  Then ask the team member to send you an email with their understanding of the course of action.  This simple method will show you what they understand and will also help them put in writing the next steps (we all know that written goals have a much higher chance of being completed).

I’m grateful to the Founder/CEO of Tastefully Simple, Jill Blashack Strahan, for this one.  Her courage and perseverance has delivered this tool (and others) to thousands of people and helped make the world a better place.