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Managing people's expectations is a much underutilised communication tool. It would make people's lives so much easier and we would have much more meaningful communication if we were to manage expectations in a better way. 

This week I was due to fly out to the South of France for my holiday, we kept watching the board telling us which gate to board, only for the time to be announced kept getting pushed back, further and further, until it ended up going past our flight, then an hour passed, then another hour passed and then it got cancelled. Then out of the blue it showed us a number to go to the gate, only when we got there we discovered hundreds of other people and they were ushering us out of a different exit. We all got our hopes up that we were going to fly and then quickly discovered there was no chance. 
It is horrible to get your hopes up and then have them dashed. That is what happens when you don't manage expectations. To manage expectations, really means to communicate the potential concerns and risks.  Here are 5 tips on how you can do that. 
1. When taking a brief, or initial communication, voice your potential concerns
2. Continually communicate how you are getting on, albeit positive or negative and why that might be
3. If the concern happens, think of three possible solutions and work with them to find a solution with the other party
4. You can not communicate
5. Always be specific, in terms of timescales and who is doing what work and by when. 
6. ok, I said 5, but this one is put everything in writing, so it is clear. 
Practise, setting and managing expectations and just notice how much better communication is for you

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