Expectation is defined as a belief about or mental picture of a future event. An expectant attitude is one of having feelings of anticipation about a person or occurrence. People tend to live up to their expectations, and their environment becomes a mirror of their beliefs, attitudes and expectations. Positive attitudes and expectations yield positive results; negative attitudes and expectations yield negative results.
I was talking to a senior business leader about this recently regarding his dealings with the HR team inside the new company where he recently started to work. He was not overly pleased with the HR support he was receiving at the new company and when I started to inquire about some specifics, what I received back from him were generalities. He made blanket statements about how HR people always give him a hard time or make things more cumbersome than they need to be. What I sensed was that he was generalizing and projecting his own thoughts about HR support based on past experiences. He even actually said, “What else do you expect from HR?” to which I asked him if he could perhaps try to change his expectations a bit. Why not expect them (and anyone he interacted with) to be open, helpful, and supportive? Why was he expecting the worst when he could expect something so much better? He has actually agreed to do an experiment and try to alter his expectations and see what results he gets. I am willing to bet that, if he truly does change his expectations to something better, that is what he will receive.
The world tends to give us back what we expect, which is why I recommend that each day, we all try to expect the very best.