Don’t Expect Everyone to Meet Your Expectations

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Management intrinsically sets expectations – both of managers and those they lead. When expectations are present, there is the expectation that they will be met.

This is easier said than done. If you manage others with the rigid expectation that they will meet them, there is going to be disappointment.

The expectations of others need to include the potential that others will fall short – for example:

1. Falling short following policy
2. Character weaknesses
3. Not accepting supervision
4. Avoidance
5. Ethical missteps
6. Personal problems affecting workplace behavior

When you begin to accept the potential that others will fall short of expectations, you allow yourself to stay focused on the more important stuff. Mistakes or falling short is a part of human nature. Personalizing the actions of others is a sure fire way to stress, or most importantly, sidetrack your eye from the big picture.

Keeping Your Eye on the Big Picture
The way you work through a failed expectation is to realize that drift may occur.

1. Identify the program or policy drift
2. Acknowledge the self – correction with others
3. Examine your own motivations and expectations
4. Adjust your attitude with others- accept failures, insist on corrective behaviors in others
5. Provide supports, clarify your expectation

Finally, set future expectations in a way they are incrementally attainable with your team. Insure potential roadblocks are removed. The failed expectation could be your roadblock not your staff member’s. Keep an open mind that you may be setting the wrong or unclear expectation that is not matched with their current realities.


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