Setting Expectations

Everyone loves a happy team. No one wants an argument. Disappointment is not a good way to start a Sunday

We have a team of around 20 in our band at EBC, and I’m pleased to say that they are generally diligent in their timekeeping and attendance, both for Sundays and rehearsals. But it hasn’t always been this way, and there are some weeks when it doesn’t all just come together. Just this past week, I had two drop out of rehearsal because of illness and a prior engagement. Which was fine…rehearsal still happened, although on a smaller scale, and Sunday went well, albeit with a smaller band. Because the decision, rightly, was made that if they couldn’t do rehearsal, then they couldn’t do Sunday.

Good Team

There are many elements that contribute to a good team, including good spirit, heart and passion, competence, reliability and the ability to work together. And when people come on team, I look out for these areas and try to encourage and develop them. And from my side I make sure that everyone has up to date and clear copies of the music, that they are regularly updated with meetings and emails, and that they know when they have rehearsal, what they are playing on a Sunday and that I don’t overburden when sorting out rotas for the term.

But I also make sure that I set expectations in return: if the band has signed up to play for a Sunday then they know that they have to arrive early, they need to keep the week before for rehearsal, it is their responsibility to have learnt the music and be ready for rehearsal and Sunday. The day can end up being long…we do two morning services, so the commitment is at least five hours of a Sunday morning. And that may be too much for some. But I’d rather be upfront about the commitment, and for my team to be upfront in return so that I have a dedicated and committed band every Sunday.

Job Description

This is something that I’ve put together over the years through learnt experience, and we have a Job Description for our teams, just as we do for our leaders and staff, so that they are clear right from the start about what is expected and how we do things. This means there aren’t any surprises, everyone knows what to do, and if there are ever any problems, we can roll back to the job description and affirm that we all agreed to it.

Of course there is flexibility, I am pretty lenient and laid back when it comes to the team (that is just a personality trait of mine) and it is rare that anything untoward ever happens.

Setting expectations up front makes for a much happier journey for all involved.

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