Expectation & The Fear of Making Mistakes

Like opinions, everyone has expectations. People place expectations on others and themselves, and expectations are even stronger within the workplace. Our work environment proposes many expectations for all staff members. Whether it is an analyst that did not act accordingly in a meeting, or a direct supervisor not acknowledging the brilliant ideas of fellow team members, these expectations have led leaders to make severe decisions that eventually cost them their careers or the careers of others.

Disappointment generates frustration, depression, apathy, and fear infiltrating the work atmosphere. Many employees find themselves living in fear of not owning up to their direct supervisors' expectations. Immediate supervisors live in fear of meeting the organization's goals, which leads them to pressure their teams to perform. Mistakes become intolerable, and employees become paralyzed with the overwhelming fear of making one mistake and lacking in performance.

These expectations and others are detrimental to one's career and health. Although financial departments have no margins for error due to the nature of their work, other departments don't fall under that same category. Employers should understand that by acknowledging, correcting, and analyzing mistakes, they are increasing performance, employee engagement, developing innovation and creativity. Team members will become more efficient and productive proliferating their performance and capabilities. Decreasing expectations placed on ourselves and others will generate a healthy and honest work culture where members can flourish.

Viewing mistakes as an opportunity to improve processes and develop training decreases the probability of future errors. "If we can learn to let go of our expectations a little, we are much less likely to put ourselves and others under too much pressure to be 'perfect.' We are much less likely to feel disappointment when others don't act how we expect them to, or we would like them to," Carl Phillips.

We are not perfect. We are humans attempting to give our organizations the best work we can possibly offer. Taking the bad and turning it into something good will positively impact the growth and success of everyone within the organization and the organization itself. 

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