Take Control of Your Life

Manage Expectations or FAIL

For you guys working in the corporate world or even the ones with a part-time job – you need to know how to manage people’s expectations in order to succeed.

If you are beta or shy, you might be afraid to say NO. But saying YES your whole life is no way to live. And it is no way to get ahead in this world.

  • YES is not a word you should always say.
  • YES I CAN is not a phrase you should say all the time.
  • SURE is just a replacement word for YES.
  • Stay away from YES.

Here’s the thing about the corporate world:

  1. Your bosses want to milk out as much productivity of you for the least amount of pay as possible.
  2. Secondly, there are some people that make requests of you that have no regard for any other responsibilities you have.

If you know this then you know people are not always looking out for you. And by saying YES all the time, you aren’t even looking out for yourself.

Why Do We Hate Our Managers So Much?

  • Do we hate our bosses because they are jerks? Sometimes.
  • Do we hate our bosses because they don’t look out for their own team members? Probably
  • Do we hate our bosses because they give us more work than we can handle? Yes.

Some of us work for really good people that understand the idea of quality of life and know what it means to be part of a team. Others with limited management training think they can just give subordinates all their work and sit back and relax.

Why Do We Let People Take Advantage of Us?

The reason why people at work and pretty much in all other situations take advantage of us is because we let them. 

People disrespect people that let people disrespect them. Have you ever heard of  a “yes man”? A yes man is someone that always says yes. Whatever it is, he says yes he can do it. Yes yes yes.

Imagine a world where you said yes to everything. What would your life be like? Would it be enjoyable? Spending your days doing work other people tell you they need done. Of course not. But that is the life of a yes man. And there are too many yes men in this world. Let’s make sure you don’t turn into one.

Learn to Say No

If you’re young, you probably struggle with saying no. I don’t blame you, especially since you want to make a good impression and you want to prove yourself to your superiors.

But let me try to paint a different picture to you when you don’t say no. Imagine you say yes you can do everything that is asked of you because you don’t want to say no and let people down. Then you are up to your ears in work. And deadlines come and pass and you haven’t finished everything. Guess what….?

Remember how you didn’t want to let people down by saying no? Well, you let them down by saying Yes.

See, when you overpromise and underdeliver,  you do more harm than good. By saying “No” at least you tell people you can’t do something. But by saying “Yes” you have told someone you can do something which you actually cannot.  Which seems worse to you?

It Doesn’t Always Have to be NO

When I say learn to say no it doesn’t mean you have to say no. It means pushing back. It means managing expectations. Here are some alternatives to saying no.

  • “I don’t know if I can this week. I already have a lot of other stuff to work on.”
  • “I can try to get to it but I can’t make any promises.”
  • “Maybe. I’ll let you know how things go with other stuff I’m working on.”
  • “I can probably get to it next week.”

The maybe alternative is what you want. You don’t need to say yes or no. Just let people know that you may or may not be able to do something. That makes it less likely that anyone will hold you to getting something done.

No Does More than just say No I can’t

Managing expectations is what you need to learn how to do. I know it is hard if you are young or in a new organization but you will fail if you keep saying yes to everyone.

Let me give you a quick example. I once had a manager that could not say no. She was half too nice, half too stupid. She wasn’t new to the organization and she was not fresh out of college. She was just too scared to say no her entire life.

Rather than manage expectations and push back, she just let the work pile. I remember once someone wanted something reviewed in in the beginning of March and it still wasn’t looked at in June (3 entire months!). But she said she would get to it right away. Each time someone followed up to see what the progress was. You can imagine what this did to her reputation.

This manager became unreliable. She had a reputation of a slow worker. People around the office said she was the dumb one. And worse of all, the work never stopped. Because she never knew how to say “I can’t get to it right now” people just kept coming and giving her more work.

The story doesn’t end well for this lady. She was eventually fired. I can’t blame the company for doing it. I would have done it a lot earlier. She became a bottle neck of work piling up and preventing the company from generating revenue.


Final Thoughts

Some of you may not understand the significance of managing expectations right now, but eventually you will. If you keep promising things and saying yes yes yes, and you don’t deliver, YOU WILL LOSE ALL CREDIBILITY.

Do not become THAT guy that people hate because you take on more than you can handle. Say no. Say maybe. Don’t always say yes. Saying yes all the time is not smart especially when you don’t really mean it!

Be Alpha.

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