Ep #73: Expectations Guilt
When you’re a leader and own a business, it’s not only okay to have expectations, it’s your responsibility to have them. But most female entrepreneurs that I work with usually wrangle with these three issues when it comes to expectations guilt.
What you’ll find in this episode:
- The three main issues that cause female entrepreneurs expectations guilt.
- Many female entrepreneurs think that their expectations are too.
- The Olive Garden analogy.
- Many women think it’s selfish to 1) expect things to be done and 2) to want them done in a certain way.
- Female entrepreneurs tend to worry about what other’s expect of them.
- This self-evaluative judgement is not useful; it drags you down. Guilt is not useful.
- Why every female entrepreneur needs a coach.
Featured on the Show and Other Notes:
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- For the next three weeks I’m accepting new clients – then none after that for a smidge. So, now’s the time to come work with me. Make an appointment here!
- The How to Manage Virtual Employees Course
- The Founder’s Lab. The Founder’s Lab is doing well and getting busy. We may have to limit enrollment. You have until the 3rd week in July to join us. This is my private coaching program for female founders who are generating more than 7-figures in their revenue. It’s a complement to the Entrepreneurial Management program (with Brooke Castillo) and is part of the work you get as a client of mine.
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Hey, I’m Kris Plachy, host of the Lead Your Team Podcast. Running a million dollar business is not easy, and whether you’re just getting started with building your team, or you’ve been at this for a while, I’m going to bring you honest, specific, and clear practices you can use right now today to improve how well you lead your team. Let’s go ahead and get started.
Hello, hello. Welcome to the podcast. How are you? It is the first week of July. I keep telling everyone. I’m like, “How did it get to be July? Somebody tell me how it got to be July.” I saw another joke the other day that said, “You have reached level seven of the year 2020.” Oh goodness. I’m all by myself in my office cracking myself up. Okay, get ready. Let’s go. We are going to talk about expectations guilt. What am I talking about? I am talking about a lot of things today that I know apply to you. So get a pen and a piece of paper.
But before I get into the content, a couple of things. I rarely do this and I just want to make sure I remind you. If you’re on Instagram, I’d love for you to follow me, Kris Plachy Coach. Let’s get connected. I want to see your face. I love to say hello to my listeners. So pop in, drop me a DM, say hello. If you’ve been listening for a while and you haven’t done so, I would be so grateful for your review here on iTunes. Just let us know what you think of the show and how it’s helping you and what you’re learning. So helpful to see. I read every single one. Certainly, I’m very grateful to all of you who share your words with me. So thank you for that.
Then lastly, we’re coming up here, I am for the next three weeks accepting new clients. Then I will not be accepting any new clients for a smidge. So if you are interested in working together, now is the time to do so. The way to make that happen is to go to krisplachy.com/appointment and you can schedule some time with one of my team members and they’ll talk with you about what’s going on in your team, what’s going on with you as a female founder and entrepreneur and what you need to help you take everything really to the next level and bring home 2020 stronger, stronger, stronger, stronger than maybe it started. So I’d love to invite you to consider all three of those options as an opportunity for us to get to know each other.
So let’s talk about expectations guilt. So we talk a lot I know on this podcast about setting expectations, that they’re a critical part of performance, that you have to have clear expectations, both from a production perspective and a behavior perspective, in order to really build clear accountability structures for the team and for individuals. But so what I’m talking about now is expectations guilt, which is more about the wrangling that my clients go through about the expectations that they set. So one of the common scenarios is for female entrepreneurs that I hear regularly is I’ve asked them to do this whatever, these things, but I’m starting to think my expectations are too high.
So I’m wondering, maybe I need to change… Are my expectations too high? Maybe I’m expecting too much. Then the guilt sets in that you set too high of an expectation or you’re expecting too much and then you compromise on your expectation. Is this sounding familiar? So you either do the work yourself or you accept below your expectation work or you yell at your employee in your mind, don’t talk about it at all. Needless to say, though, the feeling that a lot of my clients feel is guilt. Like something’s wrong with me, I did something wrong in the way that I requested this work to be done, et cetera.
Before you overindulge that dialogue in your mind, I want to ask you to do something first. First, let’s just look at were you really clear. So, and not clear like if I was in your mind, I would understand what you said, but clear like anybody who heard you would know what you meant. Nine times out of 10, you guys, the answer to that is no, and that’s not because you’re bad and you did it wrong, it’s just that you have to learn how to explain what you expect. There is this natural sort of inclination to think that other people think like you and so therefore it’s common sense, whatever the thing is that you want done, but it isn’t. So you have to be really, really crystal clear about what your expectation is.
The second thing that’s a part of that is your follow through. If it’s a longer-term project, are you checking in? Are you making sure that they did the things they said they would do, that they’re on target? Etc. If they are working on some sort of creative for you, are you reviewing what they’re doing so that you can give feedback before they get too far down into the work to make changes? So before you start thinking you are the problem and your expectations are too high, I want to really invite you first to make sure, no, it’s probably just in delivery and in accountability.
Now, I also want to add that expectations being high is not bad. I don’t think you should feel guilt for setting high expectations. I think if you know that you have high expectations, that you are a little less compromising than others, that you have standards that might be more at the impeccable level, that that just means you have a responsibility to communicate well and develop people to understand what it is that you need and want. So where it becomes unreasonable, an expectation, is when you just expect people to know exactly what you want and you’ve never given them any means or methods to know that, right?
So I like you to have high expectations. I like to have high expectations. I think that’s what other people want too is to work for and be around other women who are holding this space that no, no, no, come up here, join me here, right? Most people do things standard, right? If you’ve been a podcast listener for a long time, you’ve heard my Olive Garden analogy, no disrespect to Olive Garden, but right now nobody’s open, but I’m using the analogy anyway, right? Olive Garden is always crowded, if you’ve ever been there. I’ve been there I think four times in my life. It’s always crowded. It’s always packed because it’s easy and not so expensive, but kind of a night out and the food’s fine. It’s not bad food. It’s just it’s fine. It’s fine food.
If you go to you a five-star Michelin like amazing restaurant, it’s not packed. Sure, every table might be served, but it’s not like crazy Olive Garden. It’s lovely and beautiful and impeccable. So you just have to decide, right? If that’s what you want, if I want to have this five star restaurant, there are requirements for me to develop a team of waiters and servers and chefs and all the things that bring that to my restaurant. If I want to have an okay restaurant, I set that up that way.
So you don’t have to be apologetic for your expectations, and I certainly don’t want you to indulge guilt, I just want you to recognize that when there’s a gap, it’s simply because I think you always have to just go back to you. Now, if you’ve done it time and time and time again, and the person that you have on the team can’t deliver, now we know, that they’re just not going to be able to deliver on that expectation. It doesn’t mean you have to get rid of the expectation, okay?
The second thing about expectations that a lot of female entrepreneurs wrangle with is that you should even have them. I think that a lot of women believe that it’s selfish to want things to be done the way you want them. So there’s an inherent guilt in even asking other people to help, and then if you ask for help, asking them what that help looks like and telling them what help looks like. When you own a company, that’s your job, right? I know this can bleed into personal lives, where people get frustrated that they have to ask for help and then tell them what help looks like. But when you have a business, that is your responsibility, is to be clear about what you expect, and it is your responsibility to have those expectations.
So you can’t dismiss that from yourself. You have to recognize that this is part of your responsibility as a leader is to hold those expectations and communicate them and remind people about them and stay on top of them. That is your responsibility. It’s your job. It’s not something that you’re doing that makes you difficult or unlikable or disrespectful. It is part of your work in the world.
The last piece about expectations that I think is super important that we talk about is other people’s expectations of you. Expectations guilt when we are disappointing others, at least according to them. So what that looks like is you hire people and they don’t like their job. You hire people and you aren’t as available as they thought you would be. You hire people and you change the job. Whatever it is, people have expectations of who we should be in the world. Do you know this? I’m sure you know this. We carry a lot of guilt a lot of times that we aren’t who they want us to be. We aren’t as dynamic. We aren’t as available. We aren’t as interesting. We aren’t as smart. We aren’t as well-versed in certain areas. So then we that deeply to heart.
This is one of the reasons why so many women suffer is they want very much for their staff to like them and to meet the expectations of what likability means to each individual employee, which of course is impossible. If you have a team of 20 people, you can’t be amazing to all 20. You know this, right? Do you know this? So other people, employees, are going to have expectations of you. No doubt about it, right? But for you as a human being, you have to understand that the reason that you hire employees is to ensure that the work is done in the business and that the business is successful. We don’t hire employees to have friends and we don’t hire employees to have even more people that we’re responsible for making happy through our behavior, ladies.
So other people can have lots of expectations of you, and I can promise you, guarantee you, you will disappoint them. Your behavior will not be what they think it should be, 100%. Do it anyway and do it without the guilt. Guilt is unnecessary and un-useful. It’s like women who have finally have a successful business. They’ve built the structure. They’ve built the team. They have the revenue and then they don’t work as much and then they have their own expectations guilt of themselves. Oh well, shouldn’t I be busy? Shouldn’t I be exhausted? Shouldn’t I be at the office? Shouldn’t I be working? Shouldn’t I be on email? Shouldn’t I be on a phone call? No. You built the business. You did that. You don’t have to… You built the business so you could earn this time. Guilt’s un-useful. Guilt won’t get you what you want.
So you have to watch your own perpetuating negative cycle that you keep yourself in because you believe you’re not worthy of the success that you’ve created in your business, or that you believe that your employees will judge you for not being on that phone call or not being on email, right? There’s just, all this self-evaluative judgment is so un-useful for you and it drags you down. So for me, this is why I think every female entrepreneur needs a coach. I had another client say to me recently, like, “Are you a business Buddha?”
I think that you have to recognize that I see because I talk to you all so much all day, every day, I see the tremendous amount of unprocessed thinking, unaware thinking that you’re holding and carrying around that is influencing how you set expectations, how you hold people accountable, how you think about yourself as a woman who’s leading this business, how you grant yourself grace or not. Where you get your wisdom, I believe you need somewhere to go to work through all of that. I sure do. It’s not a venting session. It needs to be a constructive discussion where you are growing and pushing yourself forward and through this stuff so that you don’t bring it with you.
I said this to a client recently, “We’re going to leave everything. Everything that came up in this year, we’re leaving it behind. We’re not taking it with us. Let’s do the work now.” Right? Guilt. Guilt is one of those. We need to send that down to the core of the earth and let it live there with wherever, melt into the earth. Let it go. You can have your expectations. You can hold them. You can teach people how to meet them. You can have that organization that’s delivering at a high level. You could have employees that are disappointed in you and you can still thrive. You can have a successful business where you’re not working all day every day, in fact, that’s the goal and you don’t have to feel guilt when you’re not there. That’s the point.
You’ve built a business that now employs other people. How gorgeous is that? Why would you feel guilty about that? Stop it. Okay? All right. So thanks for tuning in. Have a wonderful, amazing, beautiful day and I will talk with you again next time.
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