Saturday, March 03, 2007

What Are You Expecting?

I wonder how often people behave the way they do because we are expecting them to.

One thing I learned from my observations is that people, especially those over whom we have leadership, tend to behave largely as we expect them to. They tend to live up to, or down to, our expectations.

One of the reasons I am able to bring out the best in people is that I see the best. It's not that I am not aware of the faults of others, it's just that I choose to focus on their finest qualities. And the more I focus on what's good in a person, the more it expands until it becomes the presenting part of the person and overshadows their faults.

I remember reading a story some time ago about a teacher who mistakenly thought her students locker numbers were their IQ's. She thought she was teaching a class full of geniuses, and so she treated them as such. She gave them challenging assignments, and expected strong performance from each of them. And they responded, performing much better than they previously had in their school careers.

Expect the best from people, and you will usually get it. Expect the worst, and what do you think you will get? Expect the best from yourself. You are likely capable of things you haven't even begun to imagine. And imagination is the beginning of every wonderful advancement and accomplishment that occurs.

Albert Einstein said, "Imagination is better than knowledge." He refused to memorize things he could easily look up because he preferred to keep his brain free for imagining and receiving.

Why not use your imagination to visualize the best possible outcome from every person you deal with? You may not be able to visualize an intangible idea, but you can visualize the results. I see my kids telling me how happy they are and how much they love their lives. I see the computer repair person beginning their conversation with me with the words "Good news." I see someone I am trying to help thanking me and telling me I made a difference in their life.

And the vast majority of time, things work out just as I imagined them. When they don't, I can point to uncertainty in my own mind that I would get the results I was looking for. That's good too, because it makes me aware of limiting beliefs I need to clear.

Getting back on point, though, expect the best and you will generally receive the best. Of course, no one can coerce others into behaving at their best. Each of us can freely choose who we want to be; however, it is a powerful principle that usually produces powerful results.

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