I live in a world of high expectations. I expect a lot of my employees, my husband, my kids, my friends, and mostly, myself. I think having high expectations for myself makes me a better employee, a better wife, a better mom and a better friend, but it can also be exhausting. Some of my relationships are strained at times because my expectations of other people can be unrealistic.
I need to adjust what I'm expecting.
I need to acknowledge that mistakes happen. I need to accept that mistakes happen. And maybe I even need to expect that mistakes happen.
When I'm at my best as a leader, I tell an employee who's made a mistake, "That's how we learn. Let's fix it." The same approach works well as a parent. Because that is how we learn, isn't it? Someone can tell us ten times not to do something, but it's not until we get it wrong that we realize how important it is to get it right.
Here's why it may benefit all of us to learn to expect mistakes from others and ourselves:
When that other person we've trained or supervised or parented makes a mistake, it's not necessarily a reflection on our training/supervising/parenting skills. But how we respond to the mistake often is.
Mistakes are often a good sign. Because when we're trying hard, we're going to mess up. When we're putting ourselves out there, we're going to fall short. When we're challenging the status quo, we'll make mistakes.
When we're playing it safe, mistakes are much less likely. But the rewards are fewer too.
When we expect and accept mistakes from others, they're more likely to accept them from us. Win win.
Expecting mistakes and having high expectations are not mutually exclusive. But the higher the expectations, the more likely there are also mistakes.
Expect mistakes so you can accept mistakes. Then fix them and move on.