Stop waiting for a response you’re never going to get

Sometimes we have expectations of others that they can never live up to. Sometimes we want something from people that they just aren’t equipped to give us. The result is frustration, which is an absolute energy drain. This often happens with family members — parents, siblings, or children who just don’t show us love in the precise way we want to be loved.


It can also happen with clients, bosses, and coworkers. They don’t have the sense of humor we crave. They’re too private and won’t open up. They don’t give us the pat on the back we’ve earned.

In these situations, we have two choices. We can quit — we can divorce, fire or disown these people. Or we can focus on controlling the only part of the relationship we can control. That would be our own expectations.

If your client is Oscar the Grouch, don’t expect a congratulatory fist bump when you’ve delivered an amazing result on a tough assignment. You’re never going to get it. But do the amazing work you always do anyway. Be gracious and professional. Give those hugs and fist bumps to your own team members. In other words, model the behavior you’d like to see. But leave your frustration — along with unrealistic expectations — in the garbage can with Oscar.

Agree, disagree, have a different take? Send me a comment and let’s discuss.

Let’s connect on Twitter as well @bpriestheck.

One thought on “Stop waiting for a response you’re never going to get

  1. Hi Bob. So I have a different take (although not entirely mutually exclusive) based on how we encourage our customers to shout their successes from the rooftops, because let’s face it, it makes us look good! I’ve often said, a sure sign of a successful partnership has to be when your customers can sell your product/service better than you can, simply by telling their story. This is why it’s such a critical thing to do! However, I fully recognize what a challenge it can be.

    As I write this, our marketing and customer success teams are wrapping up our “Axonify Customer Conference” (short video here: One of the core purposes of this conference is to develop a community of customers who are just as invested in our success as we are in there’s. Led by our team, customers get together, share best practices, talk about their challenges and concerns, help drive our strategy and road-map moving forward, and leave with a sense of excitement that they are eager to talk about when and where we need them to. As a result, they fully recognize that our solution and the value we can offer is enhanced by each other’s contribution to our development as an organization. In short, as our customer base grows, so does our ability to provide each one with greater value.

    Of course not every customer fits as nicely into this category as we would like them to (perhaps because of unrealistic expectations), but we work hard to make the ones that do more like Elmo than Oscar – very talkative and full of questions.


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