Tag Archives: expectations

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mismatched expectations

Mismatched Expectations Will Get You Every Time

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Disconnects in customer service happen all the time. It happens for new hires, and it happens for the project. Mismatched expectations don’t mean that everything is lost.

As a young boy my son always loved my mother’s pot-pie. She had a special home-made recipe of beef pot-pie that seemed like the best comfort food on the planet.

When my son was in his early teenage years, we visited a restaurant and on the menu was pot-pie. Much to my surprise, instead of a burger and french fries my son ordered the pot-pie.

After the meals were brought to the table, I noticed him picking at his dish. He seemed displeased. It wasn’t the pot-pie that his grandmother made. It was a poor imitation.

The restaurant was very popular and served fantastic food, but to him, the dish seemed barely eatable.

Similarly, in high school, I had some friends who loved the boxed macaroni and cheese that their mother often prepared. What they didn’t realize that she often bought a low-priced generic brand. One day she splurged and bought a well-known and popular brand. My friends hated it.

In life, or in food, what you experience is often embraced or rejected based on your previous best experiences.

Have you ever had mismatched expectations?

Mismatched Expectations

It is true for the food you eat. It’s true for the new marketing plan, the process improvement, and even your job.

It is also true for everyone else, only sometimes in the opposite manner.

Often there may be room to compromise, negotiate, or allow for a fluid process. Of course, the level of satisfaction will always be compared to what was the previous best experience or taste.

Thus, the saying, “Those are big shoes to fill.”

Navigating your job, career, or the customer may not always be easy. It is a dance between your best delivery and the expectations of someone else.

When they align, everything feels like the right fit. When they don’t, the impulse is to discard it.

Keep in mind though that the right fit for someone may be the rejected mismatch by another.

Sometimes the best option is just on the other side of your expectations.

The challenge then is breaking the cycle.

It is a test of sorts. A test for the reliability and authenticity of the disambiguation, what you see is what you get.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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greater expectations

Greater Expectations Change The Distance

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Expectations always condition the results. Lofty goals can be a distraction as much as an inhibitor or motivator. Should you have greater expectations?

When people expect a lot and get less there is a feeling of being let down. It impacts the perceived value or quality of the product or service.

Should expectations be lowered?

The customer with lower expectations is easily delighted. The provider with higher expectations tends to deliver more.

When you flip those around a customer may never feel satisfied or the provider may always under deliver.

In a social climate (or workplace culture) that honors and recognizes serving others, how should you position yourself?

When you want to give your best effort or position yourself for longevity and future advancement, what should your expectations be? Should you aim high or low? Should it be for the short-run or the long-run?

Greater Expectations

It often feels rare for employees to be committed to fully serving the greater good of the organization. People talk a good story, yet actions and behaviors seem to feel individualized.

When each individual chooses a path and commits to it, they become a role model for everyone else. Those with long-term commitment or the fast-trackers are often observed by others. They are being watched for clues on the culturally accepted behaviors.

That means your individual positioning matters. Regardless of your rank, longevity, or history, what you do next becomes a part of the culture and will determine your future.

What should your goal be?

When you set expectations higher for your own personal contribution, you’ll delight more customers. The customer may be external, or it may be the boss, co-workers, or the organization.

When you want to go further, set higher expectations for yourself. It brings out more of the best in everyone.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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anticipated expectations

Anticipated Expectations Are Based On Perceptions

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What are your anticipated expectations? Everyone has some expectation, and what happens next may not be what you anticipate will happen.

Given the current circumstances in the United States and around the World, some people are asking if life as we once knew it will ever be the same. Chances are good; in fact, they are great, that there will be significant change.

Perception of Change

There are at least two things for consideration.

The first is that things are always changing. Sometimes almost unnoticeable in the moment but things are changing. It is hard to watch a tree grow during the scope of a single day, or even a week. However, across a few years, things look quite different.

A second, and perhaps more important point, is that there has been a significant disruption to everyone’s daily life. One of the difficult aspects of the disruption is that it has taken away the status quo and the slower pace of what we may consider as, normal change.

Things are going to be different. Our perceptions of normalcy are what create and develop our expectations. We expect the Sun will rise tomorrow. We can anticipate the event.

A simple analogy of the sunrise is true for how many businesses have operated since before the industrial revolution. We’ve also had some disruptions along the way. Wars, economic recession or depression, and even terrorism.

Any single significant event can alter the course for the future.

Anticipated Expectations

This time, the time right now, there is a significant event. Things are not going to be the same.

For our workplaces, jobs, and millions of people, things are going to be different. Expectations will change, and the anticipation of what tomorrow will be, will continue to be driven by perception.

If you have the perception that everything will find its place, that the gap in disruption will narrow, and that there will be new ways of commerce and opportunity, your expectations will be met.

The truth behind all of the disruption is that every person has an opportunity to contribute. If you’re focused on making it the way it was instead of the way that it can become, you’re going to face a lot of disappointment.

Not everything will change. Yet, many things will pivot or shift, anywhere from a just a little, to a lot.

It’s all about your power. The power to be proactive or reactive.

Which will you choose?

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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promised results

Promised Results Are Often Just a Surprise

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The new year resolution, the new job opportunity, and the lowest price on-line, what do they all have in common? What are the promised results?

Enthusiasm will sell a lot. The energy, fast talk, and big promises often spring people into action.

Do they get what they expected?

Expectations and Results

The new year resolution doesn’t always crash because the person is unmotivated or doesn’t try. The resolution will often crash because the expectations are unrealistic.

It is also true for workplace commitments. Join our team and you’ll be a supervisor within six months, a manager within eighteen, and then we’ll be growing so much you’ll run a division within two years.

It could happen, but often is not as advertised.

On-line shopping has similar behaviors. The lowest price seekers, the open-box, the refurbished, and the discontinued. Sometimes, yes, there are deals. Often, it is more about buyer beware.

The expectations are set by the marketing, the hype, and the false-perceptions created by the word-of-mouth from strangers.

What results have you been promised that have come up short?

Have you been a victim of the hype?

Promised Results

People can make suggestive promises fairly easily. It happens all the time.

It may not be surprising that many people are looking for that shortcut. The perception is that someone else did it, so why not me?

I want to get ahead too. I want the better job, the sleeker physique, and the flashy BMW on the Chevrolet Spark budget.

By now you’ve probably been disappointed by something. The quick fix, fast diet, and easy money. The work from home, vacation more, and live large gimmick.

The old saying, “Talk is cheap.” has never been more relevant.

Often the shortcut is not the promised result.

It is not what is mentioned in the advertisement, the brochure, or the clever social media video.

The shortest cut is often to the disappointment.

You shouldn’t be surprised.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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promised time

Promised Time May Be a Communication Blunder

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Is someone seeking your time? Is it a client, a customer, or maybe a family member or even a friend? Have you promised time?

It often feels like time is working against us. We struggle to get it all done, done right, and done on time.

There a pressure associated with the commitment and worse, expectations from the person who feels as if they’ve been promised.

Expectations Set

We all know the situation. If we promise something in 30 minutes and we deliver in 25 minutes we’re a hero. If we fail, and deliver in 40, 50, or 60 minutes we may be regarded as a zero.

Often it is the little things that count. The small details that add up to an overall experience. It is true with the customer and it is true with family and friends.

Across time, those experiences become the expectation. They become your brand. What you deliver and when, become a perception for others.

Experience Guides Us

In the U.S. you may be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t know about the McDonald’s restaurant chain. For nearly everyone, you have and expectation of the menu. Perhaps a burger, french fries, and a drink.

Your perception of McDonald’s is based on your experiences.

Simple. Straight forward.

When it comes to time, are you holding up your commitment?

Promised time may be one of the hardest things for us to keep.

Promised Time

The people that you work with. The people who are present in your life. They have an expectation.

You often communicate expectations.

I’ll be back in a minute.

Let me finish this it will just take a minute.

Please give me until the end of the week, I’ll send it in an email.

If you are setting the expectation there is no one else to blame when you come up short.

Promised time is your brand. Make sure you keep your brand promise.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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hope

There Is Something Different About Hope.

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You’ve heard it before, “Don’t give up hope.” Hope may make the difference between dreamers and achievers.

One thing about hope is that it leaves room for disappointment.

I hope…

I’ll win the lottery.

It will be perfect weather.

My flowers will bloom.

There is always some room for things to come up short. The anticipation feels empty after coming up short on expectations.

Extra Effort

Some people give up too soon, too easily, and set their expectations too low.

Not because it is impossible, but because they make it impossible. If you don’t think that you can, you probably won’t.

When you insist that there will be limits, there will be. If you see the opportunity as too risky, it will be.

When you arrive at your job and believe it will be a painful experience, you’ll find evidence to support it.

Disappointment is part of life. So is your commitment for choosing how you’ll play it.

Without a little risk, without the extra effort, without a commitment to endure, what have you accomplished? What was the journey?

Realistic Hope

Hope should be realistic. Hoping that your horse becomes a unicorn seems silly and ridiculous.

Being committed to finding more energy in a time of need may start with hope. It may be similar for the outlook of health or happiness. In some cases, it may even change your situation for wealth.

Giving up hope is the first step to finding the limit. When you don’t risk disappointment there is little enthusiasm for the journey.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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workplace favors

Asking For Workplace Favors Has Limitations

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Have you ever needed a hand? Have you asked for help or asked an employee to do something appropriately professional, yet not in their job description? Do you believe that asking for workplace favors has limitations?

You probably should.

Wells Run Dry

A free drink refill at your favorite restaurant may not be a bottomless opportunity.

Asking your neighbor to hold the garage door while you install a new screw isn’t acceptable every day.

Expecting employees to work late or come in on their scheduled day off should be something less than the norm.

Sometimes, enough is enough. There probably are limitations.

The limitations that guide us are based on our expectations. The measurement that guides the expectation is often based on our individual values and beliefs.

Hence the story, “I walked 10 miles, uphill, in the snow, to school when I was a kid. Both ways!”

Society has insisted on showing us that values and beliefs are not universal.

Workplace Favors

There are plenty of fully performing employees who just want to work their shift and go home. If you are in a leadership role in the organization you may desire to work extra hours, even when you’re salaried. That doesn’t always mean that your expectation should be the same for others.

There is a race to the top and a race to the bottom. Expecting the performance and beliefs that propelled you up the ladder to be delivered by the average fully performing employee may be a big mistake.

Delivering on respect and being committed to workplace relationships are vital competences for today’s leader. They guide the organizational culture.

Going to the well too many times is never a good idea. A race to the bottom often starts as the well begins to run dry.

Don’t expect too many favors.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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service trusted

Is Your Service Trusted? Is There Loyalty?

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Regardless of the sector your business or organization represents, is your service trusted? What would the outsiders say? Organizations have a chance, at least one, to earn trust.

Trust is an interesting part of how organizations and individuals achieve success. Trust is likely part of your competitive advantage, or else it isn’t.

Presence of Trust

When trust is lacking productivity decreases, efficiencies decline, loyalty is out the window, and your brand reputation suffers. Trust is often taken for granted or else not taken seriously.

Many people believe that trust is about truth and lies. Sure, that is perhaps part of it. So are deficiencies in accountability, response times, and decision making.

Consistency should come to mind when you consider trust. When people know what to expect and when they are a lot more likely to trust. It is the surprises that create a breakdown.

When I order a hamburger and fries in the drive-through, I’m placing a certain amount of trust that is what I’ll get in the bag. I’m also expected a napkin or two.

When I attempt to make a call on my cell phone. I’m expecting cellular service is available.

The product I ordered online should be what’s inside the brown box delivered to my porch. I’m also expecting an email message to tell me it is there.

Service Trusted

When I make a conscious choice to engage with an organization, I have an expectation of trust.

That expectation is often connected to a person. The person who takes my call, responds to my email, or fulfills my order. It may also be the person who orders raw materials, makes my product, and inspects the quality.

Similar ideas exist for healthcare, the pharmacy, and my bank account balance.

Trust is expected everywhere. Loyalty is achieved when it is delivered. That’s service trusted.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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trusted resource

Are You a Trusted Resource?

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Trust is critical everywhere. Workplace trust affects everything that will happen next. It is true with customers, vendors, and employees. Are you a trusted resource?

Have you wondered why…

employees don’t seem to care;

micromanagement is rampant;

managers are unavailable;

electronic communication is preferred;

turnover ratios are high;

customers nibble on marketing but seldom bite;

vendors won’t negotiate on terms?

All of this may have something to do with trust and reputation.

Trust Expectations

Being a trusted resource is critical for efficiency, process improvement, and customer confidence.

Have you considered your customer, marketing, or brand promise? Are you living up to that or would the other side suggest that is a lie?

Are you consistent with employees and decisions? Do people know what to expect and when?

Being a trusted resource comes with an obligation. The obligation to live up to promises and expectations.

Successful organizations seem to get more of this right instead of wrong. They work on trust, realize the sensitivity and costs of a breakdown, and insist on the actions and behaviors necessary to promote it.

Trusted Resource

Consider this, has your project been on track and within budget? Is there gossip, drama, absenteeism, turnover, and a relentless focus on pay?

Are sales where they should be? Do you know your best customers and treat them with respect instead of rules? Do you have great terms and support with vendors?

What is all this costing you?

What is holding you or your organization back?

Perhaps you are not a trusted resource.

-DEG

Do you need some help with trust? Call me.

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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needs improvement

When “Needs Improvement” Is All You See

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The best question to ask may be, “What are your expectations?” The answer can often be confusing. If you, your department, or the entire organization needs improvement what should you do?

We find out in the meeting. “This is a good start, but needs improvement.”

On the performance evaluation, “Work is satisfactory, but there are some areas that need improvement.”

“Next year your goals are higher.”

Needs Improvement

The role of many workplace professionals is to make improvements. That is what we’re always striving for, improve the process, become more efficient, and delight the customer. It is a constant effort to improve.

Yet we often face barriers and roadblocks, obstacles and hurdles, the so-called challenges of change. Most of the things in our pathway to improve are a residue of the organizational culture. The way the organization gets things done.

The management team is supposed to push, encourage, and perhaps passively shout to get the work done. Change is proposed, an action plan put in place, and people are watching and waiting.

You are only on the team because you fit, yet the design calls for change. Things are supposed to improve, yet we only do it our way, the way it has been successful in the past.

The organization seeks outside resources, advertises for new hires, yet whoever signs up doesn’t fit, so they are disregarded.

Clever words are selected, the mission is published and public. The branding video was expensive and demonstrates what it should. Everything is set.

Yet, on the inside, things haven’t changed. Cultural change is supposed to happen fast, but feels impossibly slow.

Things Have Changed

Since the industrial revolution, there has been a lot of change. Largely, we’ve addressed many of the “needs improvement” areas. If the Earth is 4.5 billion years old, the last 200 years have been phenomenal.

Don’t lose sight of the changes you’re making. Work hard and lead through the challenges. “Exceeds expectations,” is happening. It’s happening right before your eyes.

Seeing is believing.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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