Have you ever decided to go to the meeting with lowered expectations? Different from hoping for the best, or having a negative or positive attitude, right-sizing your expectations may be a game-changer.
Charles Dickens had something to invoke readers imagination in his novel, Great Expectations. Have you read it?
For most people, in their daily life, expectations can make or break your day. Often high expectations are considered positive, yet at the same time, high expectations not realized can bring you to a painful low. It might be about finding the right balance.
Hoping for a better outcome can certainly be constructive. Often your best energy is released when you enter the opportunity with high hopes.
Is hope counter intuitive for right-sizing expectations?
It likely depends on the circumstance or situation.
If you’ve prepared appropriately for the meeting, do you have hope?
Working hard sometimes seems to feel like it lacks the payout you deserve. Is that because you don’t have hope or is it that as you entered, your expectations were too high?
Another harmful consequence of improperly aligned expectations is that you learn to shy away from opportunity.
When you feel like you’ve been scammed, cheated, or promised but didn’t receive, you start to disconnect, disengage, and you aren’t eager about new opportunities.
More than that, there may be a breakdown in trust.
When you are looking to the future and planning strategy. Having high hopes and great expectations makes a lot of sense. You remain practical and realistic, yet your target is higher and a bit challenging to achieve. That’s good.
If you are breaking new ground, making a recommendation that you know has been controversial in the past, or your delivery is seeking a lofty game-change, lowering expectations for the outcome may actually provide clarity and focus.
When you feel that there is a lot on the line and tension is high, your anxiety is elevated. Then fear and self-protection may start to creep in. You’re probably not doing your best work or giving your best delivery in those moments.
You fall back to hope.
Hope sometimes depends a little bit on luck. When we go in with high hopes, we probably are also expecting a good luck scenario. “Wish me luck,” may be the last thing you say as you navigate towards your meeting.
In some cases, lowering your expectations slightly may allow you to perform better and walk away much more satisfied with the outcomes.
With lowered expectations you don’t appear desperate. You don’t overwhelm or become overbearing to decision makers.
It often feels just right.
Just right yields better results.
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.