When someone disappoints me, I feel like they did something wrong or failed in an absolute sense, but really they just did something I did…
When someone disappoints me, I feel like they did something wrong or failed in an absolute sense, but really they just did something I did not expect. I am disappointed because they have failed to meet my expectations.
I set the expectations. They are mine to sit with and tend to; Mine to watch as they change with time; Mine to communicate; Mine to adjust or abandon. When expectations are not met, instead of only questioning the person who did not deliver, taking a hard look at my role is much more productive.
Mistakes are the foundation under the learning curve and mistakes should be expected, planned for and embraced by leadership (or in any relationship). Did the expectations allow for mistakes along the way? Did the person know they were failing to do what you expected? Did I offer support the moment I sensed they would come up short? Does my leadership come with learning built in or bolted on after the fact?
The next time I am disappointed, I will start with what I control and consider the expectations and the process. What should I do differently going forward? What did I learn from this failure?
When I set expectations I make a commitment to support the person trying to meet them. When someone fails, maybe I should be disappointed in myself.