A Letter To My Son Regarding Expectations

I’m glad to hear that you are in better spirits over the past few days.  I always sleep better when I know that you have a positive outlook on how life is going for you.
Today I want to cover expectations.
I have learned over the past several months that others will respond to you better if you set their expectations of the relationship right from the start.
I use to embrace the saying “under promise and over perform.”   I don’t abide by that anymore.  Always do your best.
I say shoot straight.  If someone expects you to do some favor for them and it really does not meet your schedule or is something that you are uncomfortable doing then just tell them straight up at the time of the request that you can’t help them.
I’ve found also that when you give them a reason for not being able to help they are more understanding.
“I’ve got an appointment that I have previously committed to that conflicts with your request.”  Is always an appropriate answer.  If they ask you to cancel the previous commitment then simple say. “I’m sure that if I had committed to you first, you wouldn’t appreciate me canceling on you to take on something else.”
On the other side of that coin be aware that when someone tells you “I’ll try.”  Take that to mean they won’t make it to the appointment.  I’m sure you have heard that before. “Hey, I’m having a party on Saturday.  Can you come?”  ….”I’ll try.”   Chances are you won’t see that person at the party.
What I’m saying is that you should also set your own expectations.  Most upset and disappointment comes not because something didn’t work out but from the fact that something didn’t work out the way you expected it to.
My business dealings are always much easier and flow smoothly when all parties expectations are set properly.  In business not too often are surprises a good thing.
Sometimes people will say “I’d didn’t know what to expect.”  I say that if you communicate effectively you and those you deal with won’t have to utter those words.
Keep up the good work and know that I always love you.

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