How to better manage expectations

How to Better Manage Expectations: Yours & Others!


Do you realize that people around you are constantly “evaluating” you in relation to their expectations and not yours? Perhaps your boss expects you to warn her when you are late on a schedule. Maybe your spouse was expecting you to make reservations for Saturday’s dinner. Perhaps your colleague expects you to offer help when he is overwhelmed. Or even, maybe you have some expectations of people around you.

All is well when these “silent expectations” are filled in a natural way. But when this is not the case, it may damage the relationship between the two of you, so what to do?

First of all, we must avoid believing that the other “should know” and that he should automatically adhere to our expectations. Here are three tips to keep in mind when managing expectations and building healthy relationships.

Share These 3 Tips with Others

  1. Be clear about your expectations – This is about clarifying for yourself what your needs are. Expectations are sometimes the result of a specific need that is not filled or even communicated. For example, you expect your employee to warn you if they will be late on their schedule. Your need may be to report to your management committee on a certain date and you want to respect that date. The expectation here is clear to you but not necessarily to the other person, and you will judge your employee based on this expectation. So if he delivers on time, everything is great! If he delivers late (without letting you know), it can cause a lot of stress.
  2. Show your colors – Once your needs are clearly identified, please communicate them! Every year, I meet hundreds of managers and employees in my workshops and many complain about someone in their organization who does not meet expectations. And when I ask them, “How did you communicate these expectations,” the answer is often that they did not do so since they assume that the other “should know”. Well no, others cannot guess what’s in our heads.
  3. Make agreements – Announcing your colors, is not enough. To manage your expectations and those of others, you will achieve better results by making agreements. Meet with the other person, communicate what you need, check the ability of the other to commit, and confirm understanding of both. If this is a longer-term agreement, remember to review it occasionally to confirm that the agreements are still up-to-date, or to adjust according to evolving needs.

It is often easier to communicate our expectations with some people than others simply because we have affinities from a personality point of view. For others, you will have to show some self-leadership and adjust your communications according to the style of the other.

The article 10 Words to Use and Avoid with Different Personality Styles will help you with that.

To learn more about personalities and building strong relationships, discover the DISC model here.

This is a great way to develop strong and harmonious relationships in 2019.

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