Great Expectations

Often, the most powerful messages are those we give ourselves with our own self-talk. Which phrase are you most likely to choose? “I don’t know if I am going to make it through today with all of these meetings,” or “These meetings could set the tone for the entire camp season; I’m glad that I involved my staff to set the agenda; their energy is vital to our camp’s success.”

2. Set performance goals as well as outcome goals as a team. An example of an outcome goal would be improving staff morale. Most importantly, this goal should only be part of the camp’s agenda, if the majority of the staff believes is worthy.

If there is consensus about this goal’s importance, everyone should contribute to its achievement by setting performance goals. A performance goal should be a measurable action that is under the control of the staff which can contribute to the achievement of the outcome goal.

A camp director might offer the contribution of preparing the camp schedule a week in advance to the entire staff so that revisions can be suggested by the people who will implement it and so that everyone has a chance to prepare for what is expected from each staff member.

A performance goal for a staff member might be to acknowledge when colleagues get things right and to offer constructive suggestions when they don’t. All staff members could set a performance goal of arriving 10 minutes early to the activity that they are leading and to leave enough time to have their campers help them set up the next activity. That ensures a smooth operation, no surprises, and campers who are given responsibility and maybe even start to feel invested in the camp operations.

Sometimes the simplest changes are the most powerful ones. Examine your self-talk. Is it worrying about what is not going to work or is it great expectations?

When you have framed your mindset for success, have your staff identify the goals that will make a difference and the contributions that they can make to achieve them.

Wouldn’t it be amazing to have your camp business meet your greatest expectations? Think about how your end of the season vacation would feel when your camp staff has worked hard as a team to achieve them.

Dr. Susan Langlois has more than 25 years of experience as a college professor, athletic administrator, camp director and sport facilities consultant. She is currently the Dean of Sports Science at Endicott College.

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