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Be Aware of the Expectations that You are Setting

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We have expectations in all of our relationships. Expectations of ourselves and others greatly influence how we behave in any setting. When I go to my favorite donut place, everyone expects to wait in line patiently while one person at a time is helped. A couple of weeks ago, I took a friend of mine to get some donuts and the expectations were different. There were two lines. In the second donut shop, you had to choose your line when you walked in. Furthermore, when you got to the counter, you had to be ready to order. There was much more pressure to not hold up the line in the second shop.

Frankly, I like the first donut shop's product much better than the second one; however, I actually enjoyed getting through the line faster in the second shop. This illustrates another expectation. The customers in the second shop expect to be served faster while the customers in the first shop expect a better donut. (I'm a little biased - it is my favorite).

Take away the expectations, or structure, and people don't know how to behave. If any behavior is acceptable, then you will get any behavior. Be aware of the expectations that you are setting through you attitude, actions, and interactions. If you want to achieve more, set expectations high but not unachievable. In my experience, people want to meet your expectations, if at all possible.

The action exercise for today:
  1. Write down the expectations that you and others are setting in your work, home, or other environments.
  2. Now, beside each expectation, write down what you want the expectation to be.
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