However, in addition to conflict caused by multiple supervisors, there is also the role conflict caused by multiple expectations even when there are not multiple supervisors. Working for the public definitely places an employee in the public eye with the employee being conscious of the public’s expectations all the time.
In the course of having this conversation, the supervisor and employee could utilize the strategies to avoid any ambiguity about what is expected or decided. If the employee is uncertain about what the supervisor is requesting, the employee is likely to make assumptions and infer the desired outcome. If these assumptions and inferences are not tested for accuracy, the end result may be that the employee fails to meet the supervisor’s expectations, thus adding to the confusion about the employee’s role.
I personally experience frustration and distress. But isn’t that just the way life is and the way it has always been? No doubt this is the case. However, I do experience two things in my own life that are very different today than twenty-five or thirty years ago.
So how do leaders demonstrate that they are caring? The authors identify three essentials that contribute to these relationships; 1. The leaders set clear standards, 2. The leaders expect the best, and 3. The leaders set the example. Obviously, the leaders have a clear understanding of what they want the relationship to be and to be able to articulate that with standards like goals and values.
From workshop experiences to consulting interactions to just causal conversations, it appears people are very interested in understanding how communications works, why it turns bad so quickly, and what can be done to improve office communications.
The most prominent aspect discussed was the issue that individuals in leadership positions do understand that they need to be able to show the way or provide a vision for the organization or the company. What they don’t understand, or at least fail to demonstrate, is that they need to be able to communicate that vision is such a way that the followers see it or “get it”.
“I don’t understand why they didn’t do what they were told. I have told them at least five times what was expected. Are they so dense that they don’t get it or do they just not care? I don’t know how much more communication I need to provide.”
Many times these individuals will state emphatically that they are trying to work things out. However, their behavior is clearly headed in the other direction. In these cases, the individual has confused the spoken desire to work things out with the unspoken intent to get the outcome to be what they want it to be.
I remember wondering why the leader didn't just complete the task and not take up the valuable time of the other group members. While this leader verbalized the desire for group involvement, the leader, due to lack of self-awareness, did not know how or when to step back and engage the expertise of the other group members.
This individual, while doing all the right things and using all the suggestions offered by his/her supervisor, was doing them with an attitude that said, “I’m really better than you because I’m your leader and I know best.”