We manage expectations every day, even without knowing it sometimes. It’s something that affects our interactions in every area ranging from our personal lives to work to our business lives. In everything we do, there are things that are expected from us and how we manage those expectations is what determines the success or failure of the project or situation.
Here’s what I have been learning from day to day interactions which is helping me manage expectations better.
- Limits: You have limits, know them. You can improve on eliminating them but know them. They will help you communicate the status of a situation better and keep you grounded.
- Control: If the client or person has to get an update from you to know about what’s happening, then you’re in control. This helps in a situation such as when you know the client or person is the type who wants something done quickly, you can then slow things down to your own pace (within acceptable timelines).
- Communicate: Communicate clearly, in simple terms, on time, and often. This will help calm down a crisis situation and give you time to fix things.
- Assurances: Make a pledge that everything will work out fine and stick to it. If for any reason things do not go according to plan, sit down and evaluate the pledge you’ve made putting into consideration the situation at hand.
- Flexibility: Always hear the other side of the story. Even if you are the expert on a project or more level headed in a situation, always listen to the other parties involved have to say. Making assumptions can ruin projects or friendships or a life. Never make an assumption about anything.
- Think: Think before taking the next step. A way of thinking about how the next step will play out is to create scenarios. A scenario involves thinking about what would happen if things are done in a certain way, and what would be the resultant effects (pros and cons), making sure to factor in the probability of success or failure.
- Aim high: Always aim to exceed expectations. That way, the final results of your work would always be above average at the very least. See expectations as encouragement to put your best foot forward.
This is not an exhaustive list and might even grow as the complexity of projects and situations I come across increases.
Let me know what your thoughts are about all of this in the comments.