YKK Stories

2018-08-06 Issue 62 Fundamental Behavior 7 Clarify Expectations, Then Respond Quickly

February 19, 2019
Author: YKK
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Robin Sharma, an internationally known leadership expert, once said, “Clarity precedes success.” I think this simple statement can be seen as a life lesson and a work mantra that we can all benefit from, whether it is applied to customers, leaders, employees, managers, colleagues, or even in our personal relationships with family and friends.

At YKK and YKK AP, we pride ourselves in doing business in a way that builds credibility and trust from customers, employees, and society. One of the roots of this type of transparent environment, however, is the ability to willingly discuss expectations, to walk away with clarity, actively follow up and respond, and adjust quickly when things are going well and especially when they are not. The details shouldn’t be overlooked, but rather seen, discussed, and agreed upon so that together as a team we can move forward with a firm understanding of what is expected.

Employees proactively communicating with their managers is a critical piece of the puzzle. Once expectations are set, the ability to follow up to ensure that all parties involved continue to be on the same page as a project commences is critical to a successful, ongoing relationship.
While this practice seems straightforward, it is often at the heart of most conflicts. In many cases it is a learned behavior, rather than an intrinsic one. Regardless of your position, whether you are in sales, human resources, marketing or on the factory floor, by taking the initiative to ask the right questions and add simple structure to your discussions, you decrease your chances of misunderstandings and bigger challenges down the line. And I can tell you first hand that clarifying expectations and responding quickly is a major element that enhances associate engagement of a team or department. How do I know this? Because clarifying expectations in a positive manner and quickly providing redirection is one of the strongest characteristics of the manager who oversees the team with the highest associate engagement rate in all of YKK AP America Inc.!

Ensuring that expectations are clear will go a long way in building healthy, productive relationships with yourself and with others. And if you are a leader at any level at YKK or YKK AP and want your team to stand out, committing to the practice of Fundamental Behavior #7 is a great start!

Oliver Stepe
YKK AP America Inc.