Disappointments are inevitable in business. So how do you set yourself up for success?
BY DIANE MICHAEL | CONTRIBUTING WRITER
I never saw it coming: My star employee left for another state, another stole more than $1,000 from the company and then I lost several clients in the process.
Ups and downs are common in business and disappointment can feel like a way of life. So how do we feel like we've maintained control?
Someone asked me once if I thought my expectations were too high. After a second, I answered a defiant, "No!" However, one needs to remember that expectations and disappointment are fraternal twins. Whether it's your expectations of others, yourself or your bottom line, knowing how to healthily deal with disappointments can be the difference between a simple let-down and crushing blow.
The two go hand-in-hand.
Speak your mind
You have every right to let an employee or associate know that you were disappointed in a given situation or results, but how you express yourself is key. There's a big difference between being straight-forward and being a jerk.
Generally, I'm a straight-forward person and prefer to be told things in a firm way; it's how I was raised. But not everyone is like me, and I know my style hasn't gone over as well as I would have hoped once or twice in the past.
So I always go back to Don Miquel's Four Agreements, one of which is to not take anything personally — although that's often a lot more easily said than done.
Don't dwell on it
Bad experiences are going to happen. Get over it.
When disappointments first hit, remember to analyze the situation, identify went wrong and plan on how to improve for next time. Another great rule to follow is to hold off on making any big decisions until the situation and its implications really settles in.
Give yourself some time to process before taking any actions on or offline.
Is there such a thing as too-high expectations?
Call me naive, but I believe deep down that almost all employees and associates want to get the job done, get it done well and make their employers and clients happy. Most work diligently to achieve what is expected of them, right? If you're the boss, remember it's your job to clearly define those expectations.
I know before I get into any partner relationship, I like to review what the partner's expectations are of me are and vice-versa. It's a great opportunity before beginning a project or partnership to clearly identify roles and expectations.
Disappointment is a part of business, and expectations are necessary in setting yourself up for what can be seen as either a success or failure. You're in control. Just know what you want, set goals and be realistic.
*Diane Michael is the communications director of The Callan Group, a custom newsletter company in Ormond Beach. Visit www.thecallangrp.com.