#14 - Tips for Managing Expectations

Did you watch the Grammy's on Sunday night?  Confession time... I did not and instead was buying furniture and setting up a new office space (exciting Sunday!!)

But even though I didn't watch it, I immediately was shocked that Queen Bey was NOT awarded was Album of the Year.  And if I was shocked, can you imagine how Beyonce felt?

Adele is extremely talented and it's not that she isn't worthy of recognition but even Adele thought Beyonce deserved the award - just watch her acceptance speech.

Two things about her acceptance speech got me thinking:

1) First the fact that she public stated that she lost a bit of herself becoming a mom and that it's the hardest job out!  (HELL YES!!)

2) How in the world did Beyonce keep it together (especially while pregnant with twins!)?

So how do you manage your expectations and stay as professional as Queen Bey when things don't work out as expected?


  • CONTROL:  Expectations are a tricky thing because there are so many things that truly are out of our control.  If you are pregnant or a recent new mom, you are acutely aware of this one.  Yes, you can plan for the perfect pregnancy, the perfect delivery, the perfect first week home, but that little baby most definitely has other plans for you.  But how do you deal with it at work or on the job hunt?  Focus your energy and time on what you CAN control.  On the job-hunt for example, you control whether or not you reach out to ask for a coffee or phone call meeting or how prepared you are when you walk into an interview.  
  • INFLUENCE:  The ability to influence others behaviors or actions is more of an art.  But how you present yourself and act can directly impact others behaviors and reactions.  Have you ever noticed in an argument that if you let your emotions escalate and so does the other person, it quickly get out of control?  Yet, if you remain calm, the other person is likely to also start to slow and become calmer. At work, influence is an important tool!  Whether it's remaining calm when guiding your team through a stressful assignment or spending time floating an idea in front of key stakeholders before bringing it to a large group meeting, using your influence positively can make it easier to accomplish key results.
  • REACTION: This is where Queen Bey nails it!  Regardless of how she was feeling the moment Adele's name was called, she was gracious.  The way you react is in your control!  As in Beyonce's case, you may not have control over who won was awarded Album of the Year, or at work, you may not be offered an award or promotion but how you react will make a difference.  When your expectations are not met at work and you get passed up for that promotion or invite to meet with senior leaders, pause and be gracious.  Now, this doesn't mean you don't advocate or fight for yourself, but first allow yourself a few moments to get over the shock, re-group and decide on next steps.   Practice in your head possible outcomes and how you see yourself reacting.  Be gracious and then after you've had a chance to sit with the information for a bit, decide what you can do next (for example, schedule some time to discuss the situation and ask for feedback from your manager).  Then regroup and focus your time and energy on what you can control.



P.S. I forgot it was Valentine's Day until just now - HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!!! What are you doing to treat yourself?

P.P.S. Realizing that you are struggling to control your career?  Schedule a FREE Strategy Session today.
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Mary Beth Ferrante