Compassion Resilience Toolkit For Schools

Expectations from Self and Others

Section 5

Many of us give the very best of who we are every day, yet all too often struggle to feel like our best is good enough. Understanding and at times challenging our own expectations and perception of others’ expectations is key to identifying and transforming unrealistic expectations that compromise our ability to approach others with compassion and extend that compassion to ourselves. In this section, we identify the expectations we have for ourselves and for others and question whether these expectations are helpful for us or holding us back.


Key Activity

Clarifying Expectations (20-45 minutes)
The purpose of this activity is to examine whether our individual expectations are aligned with collective understanding.

Wellness Practice

Developing Positive Affirmations

Circle Agenda

Staff Circle Agenda, Section Five

Core Content Visual

Expectations Discussion Prompts – Use this Visual and Display in Staff Break Areas
Posting this visual in common staff areas will serve as a reminder of content covered to staff and perhaps serve as a future conversation started for deeper reflection among staff members.

Supplementary Activities/Handouts

Setting Helpful Expectations (20-30 minutes)
Many times, our expectations do not align with our own wants, needs, and values, but rather, represent things that are socially expected of us or things we are conditioned to believe. This exercise helps us set intentional expectations that are rooted in our values.

Supporting Appropriate Expectations when Sharing Student Data with Parents

Handout with Tips for Clarifying an Expectation Concern
Assists staff in clarifying the what, why and how of an expectation across different levels of positional power.

For Easy Printing

You can find all documents in this section included in this pdf for easy printing. 
The documents included are numbered individually, not as one document.


Links Specifically for Leadership

The recommended activities provide ways to make workplace expectations more transparent and encourage healthy expectations among staff.

  1. Provide staff with access to Caregivers’ Bills of Rights (1. Compassion Fatigue Awareness Project and 2. aPlaceforMom) which provides affirmations that help combat negative self-talk and expectations; bonus point for creating your own version with staff. Here are two examples from workplace and family perspectives:

    Example 1

    Example 2

  2. Read the following article entitled “How to communicate employee expectations effectively” and after doing so, answer the following questions:
    — What efforts can you undertake to encourage regular and ongoing conversations with staff regarding expectations?
    — How can you more clearly communicate expectations to staff?
    — How can you affirm what you, others, or your team are doing well to meet expectations?
    — How might you encourage mentoring relationships and collaborative relationships among staff at your school?

Additional Resources

To find out more about the negative consequences of “shoulding” on ourselves (and how to avoid doing so), check out this resource from the author of “The Positively Present Guide to Life.”

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