I’m big on clarifying expectations. That’s what project management is all about and is where the nuts and bolts of communication take place. I’ve been fielding several hundred blogger applicant emails over the last few days regarding a new network we’re launching, and some of the respondents seem very trepid to asks questions. Why is that? I always try to be as candid as possible to encourage clarification, but it seems like some people confuse taking initiative with managing expectations. They both involve third-party collaboration but are two very different things. Here’s how I define them:
- Taking initiative. When you go above and beyond what’s expected but you know it will benefit the overall project and please all involved.
- Managing expectations. When you’re not sure what you need to do to meet a third-party’s expectation (either boss, employer, client, partner, etc), so you ask additional questions to clarify before preceding with any work or decision making process.
How do you define the difference between taking initiative and managing expectations?