Have you ever worked within a youth group? It’s an amazing experience. Teenagers and students bring such varied personalities to the table you never know what to expect.
One day everything is sunshine and roses. The next it’s doom and gloom.
It’s hard to keep your expectations positive at times.
I know this isn’t something that’s only experienced when working with youths. Adults can be just as finicky and have the same kind of mood swings.
Yet I think having positive expectations is key to leading well.
Having positive expectations changes situations. It changes people.
My wife and I have seen it first hand in dealing with the students in our youth group.
After having a rough night with the students, our expectations can easily drop. Then, when we come back the following week, we’ve brought those expectations with us.
Do you know what happens?
The students live up to our substandard expectation.
They act out. They are disrespectful. They could care less.
It’s strange how this works. People feed off of how you expect them to act or react. They can sense it.
Now, I’m not saying you’re totally responsible for the way your team reacts, but your expectations play a part in their attitudes.
How does this happen?
As we bring our negative expectations to a situation, we begin to look for the negative. We hone in on it. We take notice. And we give feedback on the negative actions we see.
It’s much like when you buy a new vehicle.
You go to the car dealership and purchase the macho black Dodge Ram with the Hemi engine. You haven’t noticed any on the road so you think you’re getting something unique.
But the moment you drive it off the lot you notice three black Dodge Rams driving towards you.
Your focus shifted towards the new pickup truck you purchased. You now had a clear image of what you had and you were on the lookout for it.
When you go into situations with a mindset expecting negative reactions, you begin to notice them. Even if they’re no more prevalent than any other week.
You tend to get what you’re looking for. You tend to get the things you’re expecting.
Let’s make a commitment to change our expectations. Let’s start expecting our students will excel. Let’s start expecting our team will knock it out of the park. Let’s begin expecting that our spouse will take out the trash or cook a wonderful meal.
Question: What do you need to go into with a more positive expectation? What can you do to change your expectation? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.