Does disappointment fill the void?

Your brand says ‘we care; we listen’ but the reality of your internal culture can be very different. Work is busy. People are focused. Contradictions exist between what we say and what we do and disappointment fills this gap.

In this short blog we will explore:

  • What is disappointment?
  • Why does it prevail? 
  • And, what can we do about it?

Read all about it below alternatively take a look at our quick ideas video.

What is it?

Jack Canfield describes disappointment as an appointment that has been dissed – I love this!

We set an expectation in our own heads and when it is not realised we feel disappointed. Disappointment is the gap between our own expectations and the reality of the outcome.

Why does it prevail?

How well did you set yourself up for achieving that expectation? 

Here are a few examples of expectations that might not quite have gone your way:

  • Maybe you don’t get stakeholder agreement
  • Or your views aren’t listened to in a meeting
  • Or you need help with a project and no one seems to be there for you

It happens all the time in work. In our own busyness we just assume that people will act in the right way and do the right things but they don’t. Most times they aren’t being deliberately obtuse or awkward. They are just plain busy.

So why don’t we set our own clear expectations to others?

As with many things, fear is the driver behind disappointment. Our own fear that others might see us as unreasonable, demanding or just plain silly. Or maybe, actually, we fear we are being unreasonable, demanding or just plain silly.  The outcome becomes a self fulfilling prophecy and it is easier to blame your frustrations on someone else rather than accept that we needed to be clearer in the first place!

It is easy to see how conflict and confusion can reign in a busy workplace! But you can do something about it.

What can you do about it?

The key to gaining a successful outcome is to be clear about your expectation and needs. It’s not enough to look at this from a self-centred position you need to be clear about how these needs support your contribution and help the organisation flourish. So next time you need something from someone:

  • Be explicit about what you need
  • Demonstrate empathy about the impact of this on the other person
  • Put your needs in context by explaining how this will help the organisation thrive
  • And, if necessary, put a timescale on it
  • Before you move on get agreement 

A simple process that if we step up and take action will ensure stronger relationships, improved performance and cut out ambiguity.

Call to action

Reflect on a recent time when you were disappointed. Consider:

  • What stopped you being clear?
  • What was driving your fear?

Think about something that you need from a colleague or manager at work and plan to apply these steps. Then simply…

Do it!

Good luck and enjoy!