When High Expectation Comes Out as Criticism and Complaint

High expectations too often come out as disappointment and dissatisfaction.

Why would people reach high when they’re met with criticism and complaint?

Leaders with high expectations tend to point out what isn’t good enough and ignore progress at the same time.

Progress is seldom satisfactory to high-expectation leaders.

If you aren’t careful, high expectations suck the energy out of everyone – including you.

A high-expectation leader might say, “If things can always be better, why celebrate progress?”

A high-expectation story:

Imagine the high-expectation leader of your team is out of town for a week. During that time an important team project comes due.

Now imagine that a key team member takes the bull by the horns without being asked. He creates a plan. Contacts other team members. And asks people to take on responsibilities.

Additionally, imagine he asks the team when they would like to meet next. A date and time are chosen. Everything is covered.

What might the high-expectation leader say? “Oh my gosh. I can’t believe it.” Then he might point out past performance problems and warn about what might go wrong.

Igniting passion for excellence:

Which path ignites passion for excellence?

  1. Expressing surprise when someone steps up? “It’s about time.”
  2. Offering warnings and suggestions when someone takes initiative? “Make sure you remember everything that needs to be done.” (Adding too much value.)
  3. Acknowledging behaviors you’d like to see repeated. “I appreciate you stepping up. Great job. Do you need anything from me?”

High expectation tip: Spend more time thinking about where you’re going and less time complaining about the past.

How might high expectations hinder the development of team members and suck the life out of teams?

What are some ways to have high expectations and build morale at the same time?