Episode #26 Managing Expectations - Caroline Flanagan

Episode #26 Managing Expectations

This week’s episode is all about managing expectations. Unlike setting boundaries which is about saying no (Episode 25), managing expectations is about saying yes, but on your terms.

Managing expectations is important because there are more demands on your time than you have time available, and if you want to say yes to some of those demands without jeopardising your work-life balance, you need to ensure that yes works for you, too.

Saying yes in a way that works for you is what I call giving a ‘conditional yes’ and it’s the tool I want to share with you in this episode. Use this tool to:

  • Tell others ahead of time what they can expect from you to avoid disappointment or confusion or problems in the future.
  • Bridge the gap between other people’s expectations and your priorities, capacity or capability
  • Apply conditions to your acceptance that are going to make it easier for you to deliver.

Saying yes unconditionally means you’ll never be in control of your time and instead will always be at the mercy of someone else’s agenda. Making your yes conditional, on the other hand, gives you the freedom to deliver value and honour your commitments while staying true to values like balance, order and trust.

For specific examples of the conditional yes and to learn how to use it, tune in to this week’s episode.


Caroline did a fantastic job as the guest speaker at our latest Women with Ambition networking event: 'How to ensure kids don’t derail your career'. Caroline’s talk was engaging and insightful and feedback from our clients that attended was overwhelmingly positive. All of the delegates mentioned they had gained some sound advice from Caroline’s presentation, regardless of whether they were thinking about having children, were already parents or were managing individuals with family commitments. Caroline has been a pleasure to work with and I look forward to continuing to develop our working relationship in the future. I would highly recommend working with her.

Sally Clare, Head of Diversity, Ambition UK

Caroline, I can’t thank you enough for the help you gave me while starting to think of family planning. Your level-headed approach to some of the things I was panicking about has put everything into perspective. Not to mention that talking through and planning how to run my company single-handedly with a child was invaluable. I really appreciate having the after-session documents to work through in my own time and have been referring to them frequently. I cannot recommend a Babyproof Your Life session highly enough when starting to think about children – everyone should do this! Many thanks again.

Client T, UK, Babyproof Client

I am more than happy to share wonderful feedback about you. Working with you has been life changing and continues to inspire me and help me grow.

Coaching client, Director, PwC Legal

When I came into the office the following Monday, I could see the effect that you’d had. People were visibly changed as a result of your talk.

Oli Holmes, Accenture

Caroline came to speak to our Balance Employee Network about “How to babyproof your career so you can balance your life”. I really enjoyed preparing this event together. Caroline took great care in understanding the needs of the audience to make her message even more powerful. The whole process from preparing the event invitation to getting feedback was very professional with a wonderful personal touch.

Louise Walewska, Presentation Client, HSBC Asset Management

I wanted to let you know that I have been promoted to counsel. Thanks very much to your coaching I have managed to get through one of the most challenging years of my career and managed to achieve what I had hoped to! I might not have made it were it not for your advice and guidance.

Client C, Solicitor