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Topic: What we love

We love keeping it real!

We all have expectations.


They encompass pretty much everything we do, and inform our goals, standards, boundaries. Most go hand-in-hand with our values and beliefs.

What matters, is how we manage them. Especially when tackling complex challenges such as the climate crisis, reuse and sustainability; if they’re unrealistic, everyone involved will inevitably end up disappointed and it will almost certainly have a negative impact on your wellbeing, and your personal and professional relationships.

Instead, we must manage expectations and focus on keeping it real. Bruce Lee sums it up perfectly:

“I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.” 

Below are some ways to reframe your thoughts to make expectations work for you. Then why not hop over here for our tools and tips to help you put all this into action.

Never assume!
Never assume-1
You’ll have heard of this classic phrase: Never ASSUME as it makes an ASS out of U and ME.
And it's true!
So, question your colleagues, associates, employees, friends to find out what it is they want or need in any particular situation. It can be very easy to assume that you know what they expect, but if in doubt always ask.

Asking questions cuts to the truth of a conversation and can save a lot of hassle and help us to confront the possibilities of the unknown, as this article explains. This rule of thumb is applicable no matter what your position and it’s vital to remember that asking questions does not reflect a lack of knowledge, competence or abilities. Instead, it shows that you’re open, always learning and, of course, managing expectations.
Our lowdown on collaborating is also a useful source of ideas on how questioning rather than assuming can help solve complex problems and become a force for greatness and good.

Anticipate future obstacles and remember past mistakes
For projects of all sizes, it is worth taking time to imagine any worst-case scenarios and how they could happen. Then plan to ensure those scenarios do not happen! It may be useful to consider your intentions and work to turn them into realistic positive actions, and also honing your decision-making skills will help.

Similarly, take time to reflect of past experiences and lessons learned. What mistakes have you made previously that can help you plan a better experience and manage expectations for all concerned? We have written about this previously along with lots of tips and tools on how to maximise opportunities that making mistakes can offer. 

Put yourself in the other person’s shoes
Think about any common history, views or relationships you may have had with the people you’re working with. Understanding their point of view and where they stand on certain issues can help you develop necessary compassion and communicate better with them to understand their preconceptions and expectations.
If you can anticipate what they might expect, you can under-promise and over-deliver, which is a great win-win!

Expect the unexpected
Cauliflower cake
Most of us have been conditioned to be high-performing achievers, especially in the workplace, and these habits can often lead to unrealistic expectations. Instead, keep an open mind and consider all possible scenarios; expecting the unexpected can be a great solution to managing expectations and avoiding disappointment. And, luckily, dealing with the unexpected isn’t something you’re born with, you can practice it and improve! 

What expectations do you have when working to make this world a better place? How does that affect you and the outcomes of your work? Please do share your thoughts in the comments below.

Here's another Warp It hack

Use our templates to save time and get ideas!

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Jennifer Clair Robson

Jennifer Clair Robson

Writing to make a difference because climate change, sustainability and the environment are issues close to my heart.

Topics: What we love

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