Why do we need a process to handle expectations?

This past week Liberal leader Justin Trudeau suspended two MP’s from his party’s caucus as a result of accusations from two NDP members. The result has been a war of words between Trudeau and NDP leader Thomas Mulcair over how this affair is being handled. In the Globe and Mail article, Trudeau suspends two MPs over ‘personal misconduct’ allegations, the reporters write:

How the investigation will proceed is unclear. Ms. Foote sent the case to House of Commons Speaker Andrew Scheer because she wanted a neutral third party to look into it and because Parliament has no rules for dealing with accusations from one MP against another. (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/liberals-suspend-two-mps-over-personal-misconduct-allegations/article21453310/)

This is an admission that no process exists for dealing with the current situation.

Now, to some, process is a dirty word. I have faced many in my years of work and ministry who objected to following a process. At a meeting meant to bring about reconciliation one person argued, “Process shmocess, what about relationships?” I do not disagree over the need to honour relationships; that was the very purpose of the meeting. But at the expense of following process? Is that helpful?

You see, process is everywhere. It’s really just a word we use for getting things done in an orderly and effective way. We use process every day in our cooking, our banking, our hospitals, our courts, our sports, our schools, our businesses, our traffic, and so on. It is not a matter of needing a process, it is a matter of understanding the process and agreeing on the process we will use.

So, when I am asked why we need a process to handle our expectations, I’m happy to point out you probably use one already, but do not realize it. Problems arise when we don’t know our process. We tend to circumvent it, taking short-cuts, or missing steps that could help us or others. By not having an agreed upon process for dealing with the accusations on Parliament Hill, both parties are claiming a moral imperative and saying they have acted correctly. Unfortunately, it is a stalemate. Why? Because there is no agreed upon process by which to judge their actions.

In my book, What do you expect?, I give this simple process for handling expectations:

WDYE-process-diagram 1

Using this process has helped many clarify their expectations and manage them in ways they had not previously been able to achieve. In my next four posts we will look at each of these four steps in the process.

Follow along and try this process.  It may help you manage your expectations as well.

© Brian F. Reynolds BFRspace 2014

Expect cover 111

“What do you expect? The question you need to ask!” is now available in paperback for $20 (Can) from Scarlet Cord Press.

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