Managing Expectations: Working with People Who Want More, Better, Faster, Sooner, NOW!

Managing Expectations: Working with People Who Want More, Better, Faster, Sooner, NOW!

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Overview

People have expectations. Your clients, for example. Sometimes their expectations of you seem unreasonable. But sometimes your expectations of them seem just as unreasonable (in their eyes).

The problem is that these mismatched expectations can lead to misunderstandings, frayed nerves, and ruffled feathers. More seriously, they often lead to flawed systems, failed projects, and a drain on resources.

Yet how often do you openly acknowledge these differences in expectations and take steps to better manage them? And how often are you a victim of your own expectations of yourself?

Expectations are difficult to control and impossible to turn off. Naomi Karten offers concrete ways to manage them, and in the process, to dramatically improve the effectiveness of your services.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780932633279
Publisher: Dorset House Publishing
Publication date: 01/01/1994
Edition description: 20%
Pages: 216
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

Table of Contents

Forword ..... xvii
Preface ..... xix
Introduction: The Expectations Challenge ..... 1

The Expectations - Managing Framework ..... 2
Communication ..... 2
Information Gathering ..... 2
Policies and Practices ..... 3
Involving Customers ..... 3
Formulating an Action Plan ..... 4
Getting Started ..... 5
Taking the Challenge ..... 6

Section 1: Communication ..... 9
1. Guard Against Conflicting Messages ..... 11

Communicating Conflict ..... 12
Conflict #1: What You Promise vs. What You Do ..... 12
Conflict #2: What You Say You Won't Do vs. What You Do ..... 14
Conflict #3: What You Imply vs. What You Do ..... 16
Conflict#4: What You Say vs. How You Say It ..... 17
Conflict#5: What You Write vs. What You Mean ..... 19
Conflict #6: What You Say vs. What Else You Communicate ..... 20
Circumventing the Conflict ..... 22
Notes ..... 22
2. Use Jargon with Care ..... 23
Miscommunicating with Technical Terms ..... 24
Muddling Messages ..... 24
Alienating Listeners ..... 25
Speaking Technobabble ..... 26
Miscommunicating with Familiar Language .....27
Differing Definitions ..... 27
Ambiguous Statements ..... 30
Misguided Labels ..... 32
Code Words ..... 35
Misinterpreting Customers' Language ..... 36
Jargon-Checking Kept in Perspective ..... 37
3. Identify Communication Preferences ..... 38
Communicating Status Information ..... 39
Nathan's Preference ..... 40
Building a Skyscraper ..... 41
Communicating Ideas ..... 42
Accommodating Differences in Preferences ..... 44
Gaining Consensus and Achieving Buy-In ..... 46
A Technique for Building Consensus ..... 47
Learning from Preferences ..... 48
Notes ..... 49
4. Listen Persuasively ..... 50
Appearing Not to Listen ..... 51
Dividing Your Attention ..... 51
Closing a Conversation ..... 52
Testing Your Tolerance ..... 52
Demonstrating Listening ..... 53
Eye Contact ..... 53
Responsive Behavior ..... 54
Moderation ..... 55
Listening Actively ..... 56
Listen Before Drawing Conclusions ..... 56
Listen to Customers' Questions ..... 57
Listen for Statements of Expectations ..... 58
Helping Customers to Listen ..... 58
Speaking the Way You Listen ..... 59
Observing Cultural Differences ..... 60
Learning to Listen ..... 61
Notes ..... 61

Section 2: Information Gathering ..... 63
5. Help Customers Describe Their Needs ..... 65

Analysis with Focal Points ..... 66
Saying That's Not It ..... 66
Missing a Focal Point ..... 68
Techniques for Describing Needs ..... 68
Types of Focal Points ..... 70
Prototypes as Focal Points ..... 70
Service Requests as Focal Points ..... 71
Bargaining Chips as Focal Points ..... 72
Pitfalls of Focal Points ..... 72
Thinking with Focal Points ..... 73
Finding More Focal Points ..... 74
Notes ..... 75
6. Become an Information-Gathering Skeptic ..... 77
Learn from a Model Skeptic ..... 78
Clarify Service Requests ..... 78
Challenge Your Assumptions ..... 79
Allow for Inaccuracy ..... 82
Pose Strategic Questions ..... 84
Learn to Think Like a Skeptic ..... 87
Notes ..... 88
7. Understand Your Customers' Context ..... 89
Categorize the Context ..... 89
Consider All Factors ..... 90
Develop Your Own Questions ..... 92
Draw Conclusions from the Responses .... 93
Case Study: Peak Workload ..... 93
Group Brainstorming ..... 96
Unforeseen Interconnections ..... 96
Focus on the Customer ..... 97
Questioning Strategies ..... 98
Talk-Inducing Topics

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Managing Expectations: Working with People Who Want More, Better, Faster, Sooner, NOW! 2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
benedetto.fiorelli on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Not to be sarcastic but "Managing Expectations" didn't fully satisfy my expectations. Given the book and paragraphs titles I was expecting something more oriented to self improvement in the context of general team dynamics and project management. But the book on the other hand focuses mostly on managing expectations in the context of a "service provider" to "service customer" interaction.Of course the same concepts described in the book can be valid also in other scenarios, for other roles than "provider" and "customer". We may also be tempted to think that most working interactions can be traced back to a provider to customer relationship but in my opinion that would be a dangerous oversimplification, things are not really that easy. By the way most of the examples in the book describe customer service, pre-sales, product management experiences. If you work in these fields you may probably enjoy more the read.