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Minimizing Frustration

Alan Andersen

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Reactive Expectations

Let’s consider the root cause of frustration for just a moment together. As Dr. Lewis reminds us, the core of frustration is an unmet expectation.

In light of this simple reality the question that we would be wise to ask is…

“How can I most effectively minimize frustration?”

There are certainly several ways to decrease the likelihood of frustration. Yet one of the more simple ways is to make sure that you are rightly seeing whatever triggers irritation. In other words, too many times we overlook the context of whatever pain point or annoyance that we experience.

Reflect for a moment on a manager and team member relationship.

When a manager is mentoring their team or team members and someone does something wrong, a healthy manager would be wise to pause and consider if:

The employee tends to make mistakes despite my leadership.


The employee trends to make mistakes despite my leadership.

This is a subtle but important distinction. Things can tend to break or fail from time to time. As leaders, we should learn to be gracious and flexible. The world is dynamic, people are ever changing, and especially the context of business can be a moving target. So when legitimate mistakes take place, we should expect it and help correct it.

However, if someone has a habit of making poor choices or mistakes. Namely, they trend to misappropriate time, energy, or effort. We must be prepared to coach them up or coach them out of the organization.

Maybe a question you are asking is, “This is all fine and good. The distinction between “tends to” and “trends to” makes sense. But…

How can I proactively get in front of potential frustration with my people?

Proactive Expectations

The way that we can minimize frustration for all parties is by walking people through our pathway of Empowering Action.

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Once you set expectations, the final key to making this process sustainable is to have a consistent feedback loop or regular rhythm for candid communication.

Pulling for you,

Alan Andersen

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