Managing Expectations

I just returned from a weekend in the Colorado Mountains which was a great escape from the dog days of Houston’s summer. One of the activities, a bicycle ride that was billed as mostly downhill, ended up being eight miles of hard pedaling into a strong wind. Good workout but not what I expected – the bike rental guy over-promised and under-delivered. Thankfully, the reward was a burger and a beer!

While under-promising and over-delivering should be the mantra of every salesperson, for corporate leaders who have to manage the expectations of multiple stakeholders, it may be more important to promise and deliver as accurately as possible.

Some people are flexible enough to adjust to unexpected changes easily. Others need advance notice and time to buy into the changes in order to support them. If one of your team members seems resistant to change, consider how well you managed their expectations. Did you tell them it would be a tough journey and give them a chance to ask how best to prepare? Or did you gloss over the challenges and just focus on the reward?

Being aware of how you react to change can help you adjust to others with different needs. If you can take unexpected changes in stride, you will have to work extra hard at being patient with those who can’t. If you are someone who is frustrated by surprises, let others know to give you a heads up whenever possible.

See if you can spot someone this week whose response to change is similar to yours and someone whose style is different.

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