Do you want to be more successful with people you interact with? Let me tell you about a little buddy of mine called expectation setting. Also, I have pictures of our cute dog Charlie and a story about how he likes to poop inside.

After nearly a decade of learning expectation setting. I’ve only been teaching other consultants, customers, and friends for the last few years… but never wrote about it until I took a walk with my home wrecker dog, the inside pooper.

Expectation setting is free and an extremely powerful tool often not considered when working with other people.

What do cute dogs and expectation setting have to do with each other?

What do cute dogs and expectation setting have to do with each other?

Setting your expectations on my blog.

My goal with this blog is too quickly explain four easy to remember concepts. Setting expectations can be simple.

On this blog, you will learn 4 helpful tips with setting expectations.

You made it this far, you’re interested in improving yourself, just like me. You have a knack for picking up new things and learning is important to you.

Am I wrong?

Working with humans is essential to success.

Setting peoples expectations or knowing when to adapt to their expectations is critical.

Both are equally significant.

Become a social engineering hacker.

You need to be a social engineering hacker. Learning these simple tips below will get your mind thinking about new ideas.

I am not telling you to go bowling with everyone to become there friend.

What I’m saying is, you need to be able to social engineer your way through life, and you can’t do that without reading what others have done successfully.

Let’s begin.

#1 storytelling sets expectations

It is natural for people to tell stories. When you are nervous, convincing someone, explaining your side of a situation, and millions of other reasons.

Building a relationship with your audience is very helpful if you want humans to trust you.

I’m walking my dog Charlie right now because I do not want Charlie to poop inside of the house. When Charlie poops in the house my wife gets upset.

Charlie has set an expectation the family needs to follow. Otherwise, through cause and effect, we have a negative impact at home.

Pooping inside.

Charlie the pooping expectation setting

If expectation setting needed a mascot, here’s Charlie. Charlie wants to poop inside.

We have some conditional logic to follow in order to keep the home life suitable.

If we don’t take Charlie on walks, we have to clean up poop in the house. When I take Charlie for a walk, I am still picking up poop, but my wife is happy.

Pooping outside is preferred but Charlie likes to poop inside - setting expectation blog post

Charlie poops where ever Charlie wants to poop. Lighting makes a big difference.

Saying the phrase, picking between two evils, is easy to say but without a good poop story… Sometimes your audience may not necessarily be engaged in your communication.

Engaging humans will help you in life. Talking with no purpose and losing your audience is not a good use of your time.

Building a relationship with someone on the fly is not easy. Telling somebody a poop story they can relate to makes;

  • building a relationship
  • having successful communication
  • or closing a big deal…


It’s not your fault, we as humans are not used to quickly trusting other people because we have past experiences that are not always positive.

I stepped on dog poop. This was not a very positive experience. I don’t trust Charlie.

#2 ask your audience what they expect.

Out of thousands of people that have relied on me to help them, not one of them would have been upset if I asked them what they expected of our time together.

Maximizing time with other people becomes more and more important as you get older. When you start building a family, working with executives, or dealing with your dog’s poop.

Here’s the flip side of that thought process.

Having a clear understanding of what others expect out of you professionally is invaluable.

The better you get at your job the more people can expect out of your capabilities. But even at your peak professionally, you need to be able to set clear and understandable expectations for everyone.

#3 have expectation goals to set

If you need to set expectations with a human, keep it simple. Chances are most people are not as intelligent as you are, and most people are intimidated by intelligence.

Have a goal before going into your meeting, don’t treat it like a high school project.

Before I founded dev3lop, I built another company with a group of people. One of the guys in the consultancy decided to take on a meeting with a customer, without fully preparing for his presentation.

If you treat a professional engagement with another person like a high school project, you will not be very successful. Always be prepared 24 hours before your meeting.

I literally had to tell the guy, “This is not high school, this is a multi-million dollar business asking guidance with a $200k decision, and your working on the presentation 30 mins before the meeting?”

If the presentation isn’t done before the meeting, chances are you’re not considering what others expect out of your work.

Pro tip: Focus on the how what, and why. Complete work 24hrs before the deadline. Strive to find easy ways to set an expectation and also what to expect next.

#4 next steps – what to expect in the future.

When you are meeting someone for the first time, consider what is important for the future. If you want them to maintain a relationship with you, verbalize your next steps as a team.

“Let’s take a walk tonight Charlie. I want to pick up your poop outside.”

I’ve failed more than succeeded, which makes success easier to find.

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