Category Archives: Expectations

Savour the excitement

The kind of excitement that stops you from falling asleep; too keen for the morning to arrive…

And the kind of excitement that hits you like a jolt as soon as your brain engages in the morning; remembering the promise the day holds.

It’s too easy to become immune to it over time, to bury the feelings of expectation and focus on the mundane matters of the here and now.

It takes something really special to provide that buzz… all the more reason to savour it when it’s there.  Enjoy!


The moment

The moment… occasionally you are fortunate enough to recognise it while you’re still in it but most often it’s gone before you realise it was even there, sometimes a long time before.

The one thing you can rely on is that it won’t last forever… but keep doing the right things and another will come your way.


Make it right!

Why is it we tend to come down hardest on the people that do the most to help us, the people that will rather than the people that should?

Just because they always do what you ask of them, you expect more.  The workload becomes increasingly imbalanced.  Those who do, do more.  Those who don’t, avoid the work and the weight of expectations.

It’s hard to break the habit.  It requires more of us too; to distribute the work evenly, to battle against the inertia.  Things will take longer, need to be checked more thoroughly, require more re-work,

The alternative of course is to recognise the work that is done.  Reward people disproportionately.  Make it worth their while.  If some people are special, make them feel that way.  Make the others envy them, strive to emulate them, then give them a chance to grow.  Make it right!

The way we do things

Great service doesn’t come from short term initiatives where staff are encouraged to behave in a different way.  Yes, it might result in a short term improvement, but it’s unlikely to be sustainable.

Sustainable improvements come when people are expected to behave in the right way, day in and day out.  They’re not expected to behave differently, but to behave right.  It’s not a fad or a new idea, it’s just what is expected, “the way we do things”.

When the bar is set high, members of staff take pride in delighting their customers, and they expect their colleagues to do the same, then you know it’s real.  From a customer’s perspective it will feel real too!

A “Good News” Story

If people have to be told that a communication is a “Good News” story , it probably won’t be perceived that way. 

This is not natural language.  Not something we’d say outside the work place.  It introduces uncertainty that may not have existed before.  It erodes trust.  It demeans the recipient.

If, when delivering a difficult message, you feel like you need to tell people it’s a “Good News” story you probably need to think about it in a bit more detail:

  • Explain the context
  • Communicate the facts
  • Provide supporting evidence
  • Be honest
  • Be authentic
  • Allow the recipients to form their own opinion.

If the content of your message is big and important it is likely that the audience will be split; some people will consider it “Good” news, while others may consider it “Bad”.  If you expect a different result you will be disappointed.

Your goal should be to deliver your message clearly, ensure it’s understood, and then engage in a dialogue.  Good news or bad.

“Nobody knows”

Sometimes the certainty we’re looking for just doesn’t exist.

We have come to expect absolute answers.  Every question has a definitive answer.  Every search produces results.  We expect to have something solid to work with, something precise.

We find it difficult to accept that sometimes the best answer even the most expert of professionals can provide is “I don’t know”.  They may not be willing to be pushed to guess, or they may realise that suggesting there is more certainty is not fair, sets unrealistic expectations, or lays the foundation for surprises in the future.

In some situations, uncertainty or ambiguity can be exciting, creating suspense, adding to the outcome itself.  In others it can be frustrating, often for the same reasons, but within a different context or frame of reference.

In many cases, time is the catalyst as more information becomes available, or the question itself crystallises.

Patience is the key.  If you can, enjoy the anticipation.  If not, make sure you’re asking the right question, sit tight and, if necessary, work with what you do know.

When routines clash

Some elements of your routine are good.  They are personal, provide efficiency, remove thought from mundane tasks and eliminate the noise from your day, allowing attention to be turned to matters of significance.

Other elements rely on the cooperation of others.  Over time, your world starts to impinge on the lives of others.  Your personal boundaries expand.  What is common becomes owned.  No longer shared, but yours by right.

Other people do this too… my seat on the train, my parking space, my time on the running machine… mine, mine, mine.

Eventually, elements of your routine will clash.  Through ignorance, bloody-mindedness, or honest mistake.  Something will have to give.  If you’re not prepared, it could get messy.

Be aware of what you have.  What’s yours.  What’s borrowed.  Be grateful for what other’s allow you.  Never consider it a right.

Be willing to share.

Build flexibility in to your routine.  Be prepared for change.  Don’t let mundane things throw you off your game or dampen your mood.