Have you ever asked someone to do something, and then be disappointed with the result? I know I have. Whether it be one of my children, one of my players when I coached basketball, or one of my employees or distributors, there have been many times when I was less than pleased with the person’s attempt to do what I asked. It took me a long time, but I finally realized whose fault it was:


You see, I was just telling someone to do something, and then assuming that he or she knew how to do it. I was assuming that somehow that person just magically knew exactly what I expected. I expected them to know:

– how to shoot the free throw;
– how to create the report;
– how to do the presentation, or;
– how to make up the bed.

It was not until I heard this quote from Paul J. Meyer that I finally learned my lesson:

“Inspect what you expect.”

That’s right: you should ALWAYS inspect what you expect. In other words, never assume that the other person knows exactly how you want that report done. Never assume that little Sally or little Johnny knows what you mean by “make up the bed.”

People – of any age – do not know how you want something done. Maybe someone else showed then how to do something – but in a different way than what you want. I have a question for you:

How are they supposed to know that?

Look, people are not mind readers. If you do not TAKE THE TIME to show someone how to do something, do not expect them to know how you want it done.

Warning: This is NOT permission for you to Micromanage. I would suggest that, going forward, you either teach someone how to do it one time, or tell then what you want done, and then REVIEW the result WITH THEM. That way, you can understand their methods, and teach them how you prefer that they perform the task in the future. By doing this, you will tremendously increase the level of communication – and trust – between you and the other person.

Always inspect what you Expect…

…or you probably won’t like the results.