Meeting People’s Expectations | People Management

Meet People’s Expectations Whilst Keeping Your Cool

Have you ever been so laser focused on something that you’ve not paid any attention to

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what else is happening around you? Have you ever found it difficult to meet people’s expectations when things are getting out of control?

I was an event crew member at the most recent of the annual National Achievers Congress in Adelaide, Australia, last week where I was taught a most valuable lesson in how to meet people’s expectations in a moment of mayhem, whilst also remaining honest and showing great integrity.

During the morning session we were instructed to hand out raffle tickets for a cash prize being drawn at 8:35am sharp. Anyone who arrived early, up until 8:30am, would receive one ticket and were in the draw to win $1000 cash on the spot. As we handed out tickets the feelings of excitement and anticipation were high, and as 8:30am drew closer, more and more people came rushing through the doors to collect their ticket.

When the bell sounded and our ticket stubs were rushed to the stage, Marie, the most equanimous woman I have ever met and the one in charge of the event management teams, became mobbed by an angry crowd of participants, clawing for their ticket that they had missed out on because they were late getting through the doors.

As an observer, it was remarkable to watch how people became so focused on their heart’s desire at that precise moment: a single raffle ticket. Their eyes were widened and filled with rage, some people shouted and scoffed in disgust as they shared their reasons for not being given one and how entitled they were to a ticket.

In the most beautifully calm and humble fashion, Marie called to me and said aloud, “give this man 5 tickets. Give this lady 5 tickets. Give him and her 5 tickets…” and so on, until each individual in the angry mob was accounted for. It was interesting to note how rapidly their physiologies changed, from uptight shoulders and clenched fists to relaxed brows and smiles on their faces. I exclaimed that I wasn’t sure if I would get the stubs to the stage in time as the throng of people was increasing in size, and once again, in a calm and clear voice, loud enough for all to hear, Marie simply said, “No, no, don’t run those up”.

What?

That’s right, don’t run the ticket stubs up to be counted for the prize draw. Oddly, no one complained that their ticket was in effect totally invalid and worthless to them. All they wanted was the thing they considered their entitlement. It made me smile because Marie had just shown me that she had managed to calm an angry mob, change their state and still maintain her high level of integrity and honesty in dealing with them because though they demanded tickets, she let them know (if they indeed chose to listen) that because they were late, their tickets would in fact be worthless.

What examples can you share about meeting people’s expectations? Conversely, where have you focused without taking note of what else is happening around you?

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