Expectations vs. AgreementsCoach and author Steve Chandler (www.stevechandler.com) is an intelligent voice on the difference between expectations and chords. He is aware that he considers all expectations to be toxic and that he has never considered them useful. In his audio speech about it, Steve says, if you have expectations about what someone else is going to say or do, and then they don`t, that can trigger a number of negative things – judgment, frustration, misunderstandings, anger – that are capable of creating a wedge in the relationship. Everything else – self-judgment, misunderstanding, frustration, anger caused by unmet expectations – can be left behind. I often hear managers complain that their expectations are not met by their teams. I hear all kinds of professionals complaining about their employees or their clients. They expect a certain result or behaviour, and they do not get it. Expectations are low and people hate putting these slimy buggers on them. On the other hand, agreements are what people prefer, and the consensus they create is strong. Expectations are sneaky little buggers because they can work their way in many forms of communication and they seem to be friendly and even useful.
But they are still only on you and on closer inspection you can see their telltale signs of weakness. There is a popular proverb in America that is important by the slogan of a chain of donuts and cafes, „America Runs on Dunkin“. In this piece, I will write about something else that our Western culture does even more than coffee and donuts, and these are expectations. And just like coffee, and especially donuts, expectations are really bad for you. You can have relationships based on expectations or relationships based on agreements. Expectations are cowardly and self-destructive. They are cowards, because when I expect things from others, I have all the responsibilities beyond myself. I expect my colleague to do his job properly, I expect my family member to act in a certain way, and the list goes on. If I am unhappy, it is because of them. Expectations cause disappointment.
It is a miserable life that awaits so many others and suffers so much disappointment and betrayal. We all fall short of those expectations. They are often ignored, but are part of the internal self-dialogue that we conduct with ourselves every day. We will never meet our expectations. The problem lies in their dependence on expectations. The management of a team, your employees or even their customers is always accompanied by a certain disappointment in the performance of those with whom you work, that is, when performance is measured according to expectations. The chords are bold and creative. You are honouring the other person. You are a co-author between two composers…. People respect agreements to a much greater extent than they are.
They feel stressed when their heads are full of expectations towards them. They feel pressure and resentment. They`re rebelling. (Will you notice? Do you have children? Staff?) But create a good deal? Both sides win. I`m talking about the expectations and assumptions you make about yourself and your life. You know, the expectations that you have to be in a specific place in your career to be in a loving relationship, have the body you`ve always wanted to succeed… To be the best version of self.