“Managing Expectations”

Call it the new catch phrase of management/work/the 9 to 5. My dad got me really into this statement a few months ago when he “let it slip” when he was merely trying to get an understanding of my  “personal goal” for what time we were to leave for a movie. A movie.

Laugh I did when he said that. Hard. I laughed real hard. “Managing expectations? WHAT? You sound cra-zy Dad!” Like as if to say, who says that in real life!?!

But really, in my honest opinion, it needs to catch on.

I realize this statement defines life, but not in a bad way. Let me break it down for ja: I am a pretty punctual person. I like directions and knowing where to go. I like knowing the outcome of things. I like schedules and ending when you are supposed to. That’s why they have bells in high school, so teachers know when to stop talking (really wishing they had those in the professional world!).

“Managing expectations” refers to knowing when something will start/end, what someone defines as a “success,” and even what time someone wants to leave for a movie (leaving you to plan out the rest of your day).  If you know what someone defines as a success, then you can better rearrange the project or your own goals to align with theirs. If your goals are too high, then you don’t have to stay up all night to write a paper because your professor only wants a rough draft. On the other hand, if your boyfriend wants a full explanation as to why you ditched him for several weeks in a row, you better have a good reason else his expectations will fall, fast. It makes sense!

So make fun of me if you will, my feelings are not hurt. But next time your boss criticizes you (er, positively reinforces) or a friend forgets your monthly phone date (causing you to change your schedule for the next week), you should ask…am I managing my own expectations?

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