Managing expectations

On everything you try to do, professionally or personally, it’s crucial to keep expectations at a reasonable level.

Expectations, on simple terms, is what people predict about the behaviors/actions/results you will have/obtain. So, why is it important to keep them at a reasonable (or lower) level?

1 – Not matching expectations

Maybe you’ve done a wonderful job. Maybe you are a hard, intelligent worker. But if you don’t match expectations, be sure that all those qualities are worthless. Remember, people love solutions, not features.

Example: you promised to write that important document within a hour, but you later discovered that to be perfect you’d take three days. Would your boss be happy if you delivered it three days later, instead of taking only the promised hour?

Matching expectations is way tricky and try to be as sure as possible when setting targets and goals, especially if you have some control over them.

2 – Matching very high expectations

Sometimes setting the expectations very high, even when reached, can lack the surprising and strong effect of unpredictable great results. It’s important to balance your attainable targets with the expectations level, setting them too high can cancel the surprise effect, setting them too low will turn you into a liar.

Example: You said to your team you were sure to finish the race on the 2nd or 3rd position. At the end you obtained the 1st position (and you knew you might end up there), do you think they’d be as happier as if you told them that you’d end in the 1st position from the beginning?


Expectations do matter. They won’t be judged only for themselves – if you don’t perform there are no expectations management that can save you. But a top-performer that knows how to set the right expectation level, will surely obtain the right credit for his work.

As a rule of thumb adopt John’s motto: under promise, over deliver.

Última actualização: 03/12/2010

Ainda sem comentários.

Deixe uma resposta

Subscreva a newsletter e tenha acesso a todas as novidades do grupo de sites e a conteúdos exclusivos.

Os sites respeitam a sua privacidade e vontade:

Não mostrar mais esta caixa