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Everyone has a gripe about workplace behavior – the one thing (or multiple things) that drives them crazy and they find unacceptable behavior to deal with. My well-reasoned advice would be to cut those co-workers that drive you crazy some slack. Who’s perfect anyway? And have you never done anything to drive someone a little nuts? You probably have, but just don’t realize it because your colleague decided to take the high road and keep their mouth shut.

I have a gripe about workplace behavior, too. But I don’t think I should have to take my own advice. It drives me nuts when people don’t follow through. In my preferred reality all set expectations would be met and in the portion of my reality that I’m in control of – my behavior – I live my preferred reality. In the rest of it – the portion of my reality that involves the behavior of others – I have no control, and I can’t stand it. Neither can your employer.

I have repeatedly witnessed intelligent, hard-working individuals get mentally checked off the boss’s list of promotable employees because of failure to set expectations and adjust them as needed. Follow-through is viewed as the least you can do. Managing expectations is a job well done.

Life happens. We get sick, there are family deaths, unexpected responsibilities come our way, or things take longer than we initially anticipated. A good manager will work with an employee on adjusting deadlines to compensate for the unavoidable and the unexpected. A good employee will let a manager know as soon as possible that the unexpected has occurred and have an honest conversation about its potential impact on work deliverables. Avoidance is not a workload management tactic. It’s a lazy excuse.