Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Great expectations...or not?

Haloooooo Joy, Love and Work-ers!

I had an interesting chat with my buddy D-Mac yesterday about expectations. D-Mac is a very successful business owner, speaker, philanthropist and all-round nice bloke whose comment was that he often sets expectations low so he won't be disappointed.

I have to say I was a bit taken aback, because I expected him (ha ha) to say something very different.

I know from my own experience that expectations shape and drive performance in all areas of life and it starts early with stories like The Little Train That Could' his mantra was "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can..." and we all know what happened after that (click here if you don't!)

I've also noticed that people's expectations of me definitely influence my results. I once worked for a leader who thought I was hopeless and wasn't afraid to share his opinion with me and others; the result on my performance was terrible, my typically confident and optimistic attitude was replaced by fear and second guessing. It was a horrible situation to be in.

Thankfully my next leader realized I was a 'hurting unit' and helped me restore my former confidence and optimism by holding higher expectations of me than I had of myself, he was the one saying "I think you can, I think you can, I think you can" and as if by magic - I did!

Having said this, I think I know what D-Mac was saying. Yes we need to have high expectations for ourselves, and Yes we need to have high expectations of the people we love, care for and work with because our attitude directly affects performance - ours and theirs, BUT if we can't directly influence somebody or something (like an organization, airline company or even the weather!) we need to temper our expectations and base them on actual performance vs. how we think they 'should be' - because should-ing on ourselves or others is never helpful! (source: the fabulous Sue Gordon)

D-Mac said I should write a blog about our conversation, I said I wouldn't and of course here it is!

Have a GREAT day y'all!

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