The keys to managing expectations are setting realistic expectations and resetting expectations as needed. Crossed-expectations is a common pattern for frustration. In fact, just improving your ability to manage expectations can improve your own satisfaction as well as the satisfaction others have when working with you. The following are solutions at a glance for managing expectations:
How to manage expectations
Your goal in managing expectations is to answer the question, “What to expect?” Additionally, you want to reset this as you learn more and gain clarity. It’s a game of progressive rendering. The closer things get, the more clarity your get. The more you reduce surprises, the more you can avoid crossed-expectations and frustrating scenarios, for yourself and others.
How to set expectations
The general rule of thumb is to under-promise, and over-deliver. This helps you avoid dropping the ball when there are dependencies on you. Things go wrong, so it’s good to include a buffer.
How to reset expectations
The sooner you reset expectations the better. Resetting expectations means explicitly identifying what to expect based on your latest information. This means being honest with yourself and others about what to actually expect. The goal is to reduce surprises for all parties.