Now listen, this one isn’t about standing on the sidelines with your hand in the air waving “look at me, look at me”. It’s actually bigger than that. Part of what you are responsible for is building the expectations of your work. How long will it take? What did it take to accomplish it? What mountains did you move? Far too many times we do things, jump through hoops, and push the timelines internally on projects and we don’t communicate what it took to achieve the end result properly. What happens is this thing that took you extra time and maybe even some internal favors becomes the “new expectation”. This is a slippery slope to dissatisfaction. You think I am being dramatic? NOPE! This one can cause ALL OF THE HOT WATER! If you jumped through many hoops to make it happen, you have to let them know! It’s as simple as that!
If you do someone a favor but you don’t tell them, then it is not a favor. You are laying the groundwork for the expectations of the work to be done consistently the way that it was this time. Letting people know when you OR your company has gone out of your way lets them know they are valued and also sets proper expectations for future work. You are showing them what success looks like. If you are not upfront in the beginning, then you will actually fall on this sword. This one thing can create dissatisfaction and unhappiness. We are wired by expectations and when they are set properly we can control the outcomes.
SAME TRIP, DIFFERENT OUTCOMES
Here’s a great example. You are on the highway and in bumper to bumper traffic. I’m going to give you two scenarios. In both of these, you spend the exact SAME 30 minutes on the highway and have the EXACT SAME trip. In the first scenario, you are told the trip will take you 15 minutes to get from point A to B. In the second scenario you are told the trip will take you 45 minutes to get from point A to B. Remember the actual trip took the same 30 minutes and had the same stop and go traffic. Can you already tell which one had a more promising outcome? Did one of these trips cause more frustration than the other? The answer is yes! But the only thing that changed in these 2 scenarios was the expectations. It’s so profound how much this can impact our happiness and satisfaction. The same is true in every single situation we have. Our expectations impact the outcomes and our satisfaction with our daily life.
COMMUNICATION IS EVERYTHING
I’ve said this before that communication is everything! It could not be more true and all of these examples show how important it is in our work, personal and daily life! We have to be able to set the right expectations and communicate properly. If we learn to do this one thing, we will truly change the trajectory of our lives. This is the skill you should be working on daily. How do you become more clear, succinct, and make sure your intentions are what is being received? It takes work and I can tell you some people never realize that they have to work at this.
Set the expectations for your clients and co-workers by communicating when you had to move mountains to complete a task. If you do a favor, let them know you did it! It’s not bragging. It’s communicating. It lets them know the “value” of what they just received from you. And it can also help when tough situations occur. Remember tough situations and issues are only the perception that the person did not get what they “deserved”. Extinguish the fires before they begin!
SUN, MOON and THE STARS
I can see the look on my team’s face when I would give them this example. I would get an eye roll for my dramatic delivery? What? I like to exaggerate a point. If you’ve read the previous 5 lessons, YOU KNOW THIS TO BE TRUE! Think if someone told you you were going to get the sun, moon, and the stars. Now think of the moment that you only received the moon. THE MOON! The amazing, wonderful majestic moon. But you would not be happy with this amazing moon, because you were expecting the SUN, MOON, and THE STARS!