Bass, Berry & Sims Chief Attorney Talent Officer Devin Lintzenich was interviewed for The Anxious Achiever blog about meeting professional expectations and how setting clear expectations can reduce anxiety at work.

In her role, Devin helps lawyers think about what questions to ask so they can make sure that they’re really getting everything that they need. “Because when you’re in law school there’s a rubric and an assignment and very clear direction, and that is the opposite of the working world. Sometimes there’s no deadline and it’s not that someone’s trying to be tricky, it’s because they don’t know or the timeline moves or it’s sort of based around everybody’s workload, which is this really nebulous thing.”

“One of my favorite things about clarifying expectations is asking about next time. A lot of people dislike getting feedback, and hate giving feedback, and it just makes them very uncomfortable, and I think insecure, because it brings up their own possible imperfections,” Devin said. “And so I say, after you get something, whether that’s a red line of the work product or you see the final draft that goes on to the client, or maybe it’s just that you’ve submitted your work to the more senior person, schedule 15 minutes on their calendar and ask, ‘What could I do differently next time?’ So you’re not rehashing something that makes everybody uncomfortable, you’re just talking about next time. And that’s a really sneaky way of getting to their expectations, that feels more neutral I think to a lot of people. It’s inherently a growth question.”

The full blog post, “Fill In The Expectations Gap,” was published on The Anxious Achiever blog on September 27 and is available online.