It’s about setting expectations. In the workplace it benefits the one who is expected to do something but it also benefits the one setting the expectation. At home, with the spouse, partner or kids, it works the same way.
According to David Rock, author of Your Brain at Work, there are two sides to expectations — there is what we expect from others and what we expect from ourselves. And apparently, the way that we manage our expectations can influence how we view our experiences and how we pursue goals.
Mr. Rock, Director of the NeuroLeadership Institute, says there is a physiological reason we are disappointed when other random things do not meet our expectations. The neurotransmitter dopamine is released in our brain and makes us feel good when something positive happens. Take an event as mundane as anticipating the taste of the attractive dish your mother just made for dinner. We see the warm rice laced with veggies and cheese and there is a pleasant release of dopamine and a general feeling of well-being.
The flipside is that when our expectations are not met – such as the rice is really shredded cauliflower and the dish is cold rather than warm and the shredded cheese is actually lemon zest, the negative feelings are much stronger than the good feelings we get when expectations are exceeded. Complicate this with the fact that your mother should have explained this to you in advance setting your expectations and it turns out badly.
In all fairness, had I set the expectations accordingly, our outcome may have had more dopamine but since I hadn’t, this one won’t be a repeat dish. It is a nice recipe and worthy of your table if you set it correctly.
Cauliflower Rice with Fresh Peas and Cumin
adapted from Rawmazing
- 1 medium head cauliflower
- 1 cup fresh peas
- 2 Tbs red onion, minced
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- zest from 1 lemon
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- 1 tablespoon chili flakes (optional)
- pinch Himalayan salt and pepper
Cut the cauliflower florets from the stem. Pulse in food processor until it is the size of pieces of rice. Stir in peas and onion. Whisk together lemon juice, lemon zest, cumin, maple syrup, and ginger. Pour over cauliflower mixture and stir to combine. Top with pine nuts and chili flakes. Salt and pepper to taste.
Do you share your expectations with others on a regular basis? It’s important in the office so that teams aren’t left hanging until the once a year leader meeting. It’s also important at home so that your children understand how they’re held accountable.