In advertising and finance there is such a thing called, “the anchor”. It’s the price you’re accustomed to. Our city is home to the largest outlet mall on the west coast. My wife and children often took advantage of the deals in brand name stores. My children grew up appalled by jeans over $10, and will wait to come home from their four corners of the world to save $30 on a pair of jeans. They have an anchor/expectation in mind that is hard to change. Jeans cost $10. Anything more or less is a scandal or rip off.
People say you marry someone similar to your parents. Although that is not always true, it does happen more often than not due to that anchor impression. For many of us, the first husband or wife we witness is our parents. They are our anchor of expectation.
So why do I bring this up? Because most disappointment, anger or annoyance stems from unmet anchors and expectations.
We have an anchor of what something or someone should be, and when that’s not met, we find ourselves in conflict.
You expect a certain level of performance from your staff. If they don’t meet that, disappointment follows.
But why? Because at some point, someone gave you the standard of how a certain job function should be done, and that’s what you’re comparing them to.
Maybe this standard stems from how you did the job years ago. Maybe it’s a list on a piece of paper. Whatever it is, it is your responsibility as a leader to ensure that each of your team members know what is expected of them. Clearly and non-confusing.
And most importantly – why it’s expected from them!
Your challenge this week:
Evaluate each one of your team members and find what anchor your are comparing them to.
Is this anchor/expectation fair? Why or why not? If you are comparing your new intern or fellow to how you were at that time, is it realistic? Is it fair? Is it productive?
Our children continue to expect $10 jeans in a $50+ jeans world. Are you expecting to much? Or too little?
For further reading on this topic, Predictably Irrational, by Dan Ariely is highly recommended.
Good luck this week!