Setting expectations is vital for any business or relationship. What does this relationship looks like from both sides? How do both parties fit together to meet the overall objectives? What are each parties’ roles?

Business is about relationships with people. At the onset of any relationship, talking through expectations really helps the dynamic. In a partner relationship, talk through very early who is doing what. What kind of money are we expecting to pay for or receive for services? Who is providing what assets to ensure the success of the initiative and what kind of time frame are we agreeing to that works for both parties?

During the onboarding stage of the relationship, over-communicating expectations is highly encouraged. Customers or providers take so much away from their initial impressions. Then, when appropriate, talking about those expectations during the course of the relationship is a good practice to remind each party of the original arrangement. And, possibly deciding at some point to adjust those expectations or roles.

No one likes the feeling that they have been misled. Surprises on costs, assets, timelines or deliverables are very detrimental to a relationship. We as reasonable, understanding and smart people will agree to parameters on items like money, timing and roles if we know about them ahead of time and things are not brought up at the end of an engagement that are unexpected.

Put yourself in the other persons place and ask yourself how you would want to be treated if you were in their position. You want to know these things and you probably would not just inherently know them or understand them if your partner in that area did not bring them up to talk through them early in the relationship.