Anticipate – Identify – Meet (Cont.)

In my last Talking Tuesday, I referenced A I M (Anticipate, Identify, Meet).
Here is a continuation of that general concept.

What is quality? Depends on what the defining characteristics and needs are that the “quality” is trying to meet.  For example: you have a Styrofoam cup, a drinking glass and a wine glass. Ask someone which one is the higher quality vessel and you will typically get the response “the wine glass”.  Then you state, well, I want to drink a cup of coffee. Now which vessel is the better selection? The insulated cup.

How do you define quality? What are your performance expectations of others and what is expected of you?

By now you have had some good role models over the years, real and/or fictional. Depending on what situation you are in, you will tap into your memory bank and reference the example you need to draw upon to meet your current challenge. This is a part of quality AIMing. This is a part of meeting your customer’s needs.

Some general tips to help improve the success of meeting expectations:


  1. Listen to the needs of your internal and external customers:
    Part of this listening skill is assuring what you think you heard is what was requested. When possible, have an additional person there to help capture the goals of the client. Because we all walk a different journey, how you interpret something may be entirely different than what the other intended. For example, years ago I attended a Tony Robbins seminar. One of the activities had everyone in the group write down ten words of what their definition of “Success” was. You would not believe the variety of answers.

Ask follow up questions to help clarify your understanding of the direction. Translating your world into a world the customer will be satisfied with takes.

  1. Check back on progress to assure alignment:
    To make sure involved parties are on the same page before “xyz” is completed, touch base with the players involved. As Sarah noted in her webinar, good leaders walk around. If you ask someone to do something, give them parameters and a deadline with an appropriate “why”. Then follow up if there are any questions on the task at hand. Or have a frank discussion on the direction your colleague is taking. If you are the team doing the action, reach up the ladder and take the initiative to do a progress review.
  2. Feedback:
    After completion, get and give feedback. Knowing how well you met the expectations will prepare you better for the next time.


Hopefully these general tips will help you meet your internal and external customer needs.


This week’s Talking Tuesday is recommended by:

SDA Dallas, Sherie Russell

Published by Dallas Society for Design Administration

We are an elite organization that advances management and administrative professionals in the A/E/C industry through education, networking, and resources. SDA Membership provides: Career/Industry Credibility A “home” for administrative leaders Access to the greater A/E/C Community Increased profession and industry passion Advancing A/E/C Firms from Within For over 60 years, the SDA has been providing accredited education, best management practices, and training on professional standards to help design firm personnel grow professionally. Our membership stretches across the United States and Canada and is composed of personnel in the architecture, engineering, construction, landscape, and interior design professions.

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