A lack of alignment, clarity, or expectations (ACE) causes most conflicts and escalations in the modern workplace.
For example, you might have a conflict with a colleague on a project. You can ask yourself, are you aligned with your colleague? Do you have the right clarity? Have you set expectations with each other? If you do not have all three, then you don’t have ACE with your colleague.
Lack of alignment, clarity, and expectations can also exist with your manager or direct report. You might not have defined the roles correctly or valuable directions may have been misinterpreted. If you do not have all three with your manager or report, then you don’t have ACE.
Are we aligned on the same goals? Do we agree with the same vision we are working on? Do we disagree on a high level?
When you achieve alignment, everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goals.
The Four Levels of Organizational Alignment – Entrepreneur
Are we clear on our alignment and expectations?
Writing down action items, alignment, and expectations creates clarity. Multiple people can be in a meeting and interpret the wrong takeaways. Having written notes and follow-up actions after meetings provide clarity.
What we can expect from each other? Who is doing what? What is the expectation or timeline?
Setting expectations often involves designating owners, deadlines, and communication plans.
14 Ways to Effectively Set Expectations With Your Employees – Forbes