When you have found yourself frustrated with someone due to unmet expectations, have you ever paused and considered that maybe you didn’t clearly communicate those expectations to that person? Uncommunicated expectations will lead to disappointment and frustration 100% of the time.
Often, expectations are tied closely to culture. Expectations become culture. It’s unspoken. It’s just what we do. What seems like common sense to us is foreign to a new person. Or maybe it is common sense, like being on time, but when someone fails to meet those expectations, it’s a lot easier (and better for relationship) if you are able to draw from a previous conversation where you clearly communicated those expectations.
Don’t have 20 pages of requirements, expectations, and team culture for someone to read. That’s too much. But do have a conversation with a new team member, helping them understand the expectations and culture of your team. Do follow up in writing. (It’s the old adage—tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them, and then tell them what you just told them.)
Just communicating expectations to new team members isn’t enough. You have to communicate your expectations constantly to the whole team. Talk about 1 or 2 of those expectations during your monthly or weekly practice—every time. Culture isn’t absorbed as a waterfall of information (like the Gatorade jug being dumped on the coach after winning the big game). Culture is peppered in slowly (like making risotto—you don’t add the liquid all at once, but a little at a time, so it is fully absorbed). And just like with the requirements, give the why. People can buy into almost anything if they understand the why.
Here are a few examples:
Being on Time
If sound check starts at 8am, then that means you need to be ready to go at 8am. If you have to set up an instrument, then you need to arrive earlier than 8am to get ready. If you are doing sound, then you need to arrive early so everything is set up by 8am.
WHY: We want to honor each other’s time.
Can guys wear tank tops? Can team members wear graphic tees? What is the definition of modest clothing for women?
WHY: As a team, we want to disappear so people see Jesus. We don’t want to cause a distraction. We don’t want the focus to be on us.
For women, Kari Jobe is a wonderful example of dressing nicely, fashionable, and modest.
We expect our team members to come into rehearsal knowing their part of the music that will be practiced.
Practice is what you do at home. Rehearsal is how all of the individual parts come together.
WHY: We want to honor each other’s time and effort, and we want to be excellent before the Lord.
Your team might throw out ideas during practice, but what happens when someone completely disagrees with the worship leader? That is handled privately, after practice.
WHY: We want to be respectful of each other and honoring to those in authority.