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Friday, January 6, 2012

Lean Quote: Expectations are Leftover Praise

On Fridays I will post a Lean related Quote. Throughout our lifetimes many people touch our lives and leave us with words of wisdom. These can both be a source of new learning and also a point to pause and reflect upon lessons we have learned. Within Lean active learning is an important aspect on this journey because without learning we can not improve.

"Expectations are just leftover praise. They are a blessing. If you didn't have the capability to meet them, they wouldn't exist." — ~ Chris Shiflett

When a lot is expected of you, it's very easy to let the pressure of meeting those expectations get to you. In fact, it can be paralyzing, and that's not good. We often look at our expectations as something we desperately need to meet—as a possibility for failure—but Chris Shiflett offers another way to look at them.

What is good is that if you succeed and you meet those expectations, the cumulative impact is exponential. That's because expectations are just leftover praise. You've earned them by doing something great.

When someone expects you to do something, it's because they hold you to a certain standard. If that standard is high, it's because they believe you're capable, or should be capable, of meeting it. If you see your expectations as unreasonable, perhaps the problem isn't that they actually are but that you need to believe in yourself as much as other people do.

Employers who recognize and praise their employees raise morale; they also motivate their workers to increase productivity. Praise is a method of keeping focus on the positive of any situation. The reason behind giving praise is to build up self-esteem, to give a belief of personal satisfaction, with the addition of feeling secure within one’s self. There is a sense of confidence that one has when one knows that someone has paid attention and has encourage them with a positive response, due to their efforts. So in praising your employees it will only encourage them to do well at whatever task they are faced with doing.

So, the next time you feel overwhelmed by expectations, just remember that if you weren't capable of meeting them, they wouldn't exist.

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