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3 Tips for Managing Expectations by Liz Lawrence, MA, LPC-S

Hello Reader. How often do you find yourself waiting for someone to follow through? Maybe it’s a little thing you hoped for. Maybe it’s a big deal to you and you thought you were clear.

“When we develop expectations, we paint a vivid picture in our head of how things are going to be, look and feel, and—riskiest of all—how the people around us will behave and respond.” Brene Brown in Daring Greatly

Want to develop clear expectations with someone near and dear? Or maybe just have clearer expectations at the office?

3 tips managing expectationsIntentionally apply the following 3 tips that describe how expectations have to be spoken, agreed upon and realistic.

Expectations are like hugs, they are designed to be shared.  Yes, you can tweet that if you like.

So remember, expectations must be shared: spoken (which means they need to be conscious), agreed upon (which means dropping all prerequisites) and realistic.

Spoken—share with someone close to you what you hope to see come to fruition. Not only does this allow us to consciously voice any unconscious motives or deeper needs, we also get the value of another perspective. After speaking with your friend, then you can set a time to speak this expectation to the other person, but only after weighing the next 2 tips first.

Agreed Upon—While sharing your possible expectation with your friend, get that person’s input on whether you have any resentment or prerequisites. If there is any resentment within the possible expectation, it might be time to deal with forgiveness rather than posing another expectation. It’s similar with a prerequisite that we hope the other person will meet. There might be a need for approval or affirmation or another true need that is trying to be met through posing an expectation.

Once those checks are done, then when you move to speak with the other person it’s important to confirm you both are in agreement on the expected result.

Well meaning but unchecked expectations are loaded with resentment or shame. When we develop expectations and base our opinions of ourselves on meeting them, we can invite feelings of shame. When we allow our happiness to be contingent upon others, we set ourselves up for resentment.”-Brene Brown

Realistic—we all have expectations but some of them might not be realistic for the individual, for the current time or for the time-frame. Naturally as live and grow, we seek to deliver realistic expectations. Check in with the other person and frankly ask, “Is that realistic for you now?” Checking in with the other person on the agreed upon timeline for the expectation allows for a reality check.

Are you in a position to apply these 3 tips this week?

When were you in a position that someone did not follow these tips? How could you do things differently?

 

I’d love to hear from you about how these tips are applied in your home, school or workplace.

 

Connect with me and let me know how it goes!

 

Warmly,

Liz

 

Liz Lawrence, MA, LPC-S is counselor, coach and creative who is passionate about people. She directs a counseling center in Austin, Texas and co-leads the non-profit Renue.Me whose mission is to invest in the dreams of leaders in underprivileged communities around the world. Connect with her at www.lizlawrencelpc.com  or www.renue.me

 

Photo Credits:

Photo from Wishflowers.Tumblr, found on Pinterest; Graphic by Author on Canva, free graphic tools

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