Goals and expectations are very closely tied together. High expectations typically are matched with big goals. But the reverse of that thinking also applies. Do you not accomplish your personal or organizational goals because your expectations are setting up roadblocks?
Tell ’em their stupid and they’ll be stupid
John Boehner was asked why entitlement programs were not being considered in the current budget. He said Americans don’t yet know that entitlements are the problem. Isn’t that a bit patronizing. He nor any other representative asked me what I do or don’t know. They think I am stupid and therefore set my expectations both for their individual and our collective performance low.
Do you do that in the workplace? Assume that employees don’t know enough to accept lofty goals and by default, goals can no longer be lofty.
Tell ’em they aren’t capable and they won’t be capable
How often are questions of capability used in the worplace? Comments like: “I know this is a big goal but let’s do our best.” or “Just do your best.” What is best if there isn’t a measurable goal associated with it?
Tell ’em not to try and they won’t try
Are marching orders around the office “Don’t kill yourself on this just try to get it done.” Anyone that has ever undertaken a challenging task knows how easy it is to quit. You also know how easy it is to do half-ass work, to do just enough to get by, to do the minimum to meet an already low standard. Why set the stage for mediocre work by telling people not to try?
So do your expectations of employees or coworkers meet the lofty goals you have? Or do you really just think they’re not smart enough, or not capable, or not willing to try to accomplish the important things?