Setting Your Own Expectations

You've probably read or been told how important it is to set clear expectations up front. Whether it's with a new employee, new vendor, or new partner, if you clearly spell-out who does what and by when, there should be less problems going forward.

Well, it's equally important to set your own expectations. Whether you're starting a new job, business, relationship...or educational program.

I recently started the Jack Welch EMBA program. It's all online and very affordable and flexible, which is great, but it still requires lots of reading and writing, as it should given that it's an accredited graduate degree program. Their grading system includes unsatisfactory, low pass, pass, high pass, and honors. The standard is high pass but obviously honors is better.

And here's where the setting expectations for myself is so important. 

As a recovering perfectionist (and it's like alcoholism, you're always recovering), I of course want to get all honors. So getting a high pass on my first paper was obviously somewhat disappointing.

But I have another 2 and 3/4 years left of this program and I have to truly come to terms with the fact that I will not get all honors, nor is it really worth the time and effort it would take. Given that I'm not a full-time student and this is graduate school (and my second Master's), how important is the grade really? 

Even the people behind the EMBA program recognize this, as shown with the below inspirational quote included on one of the course planning guides:
"When it comes to determining my success, the only
letters that matter are ‘EMBA’...not the individual grade I
earn in each course."
So I really should be more realistic about my own expectations...and kinder to myself.

Have you had to set expectations for yourself? If so, in what context and how did you make them stick?

No comments:

Post a Comment