GeneralHr Library

4 Tips to Manage Expectations for Better Living

Source |  |  BY:Dave Ulrich, 

Expectations shape attitudes. Attitudes drive behaviors. Behaviors deliver results.

Expectations impact relationships, daily routines, and work.

Marriage counselor John Gottman found that in marriages (or relationships) that last, 65 to 70 percent of problems are never solved but worked around, partly by moderating expectations of each other.

Lower end restaurants, hotels, and stores have far fewer customer complaints than their high-end counterparts because of expectations.

Two leaders each receiving a 4.2 (out of 5.0) on a 360 feedback score may have very different responses based on expectations.

Measures of employee experience, engagement, meaning, retention, and productivity are often shaped by expectations.

Expectations often range from low to high. We lower the expectation bar as a defense mechanism to temper disappointment: “What else did I expect?” An employee who does not expect to receive the promotion is less disappointed when he is passed over for that career opportunity; a customer is less disappointed that a product or service fails by not having high expectations (it is hard to be disappointed with the $1.99 breakfast).

The danger of the low expectation bar is that employees quit trying and customers quit buying.

We raise the expectation bar to challenge ourselves to try harder and do more. We raise the expectation bar to take risks, grow, and deliver exceptional results. We tell ourselves, our kids, and our employees, “You can do anything. Be all that you can be!” Leaders set aspirational visions of being the best and stretch goals or assignments to increase effort and accomplish more than is normally possible. The danger of the high expectation bar is that missed expectations can lead to disappointment and a pattern of failure where employees quit trying and customers quit buying (same outcome as expectations set too low).


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