Category Archives: Dynamic of Expectations

Enjoy this video from Watts Bar Lake in Tennessee…

The  Dynamic of Expectations gives us a framework for understanding community expectations. By viewing citizen expectations as a continuum with “exceeding expectations” on the positive end and “failing to meet expectations” on the negative, the zero point becomes “meeting expectations.” When we meet expectations, it means we have done our job, nothing more and nothing less. This means we are getting no complaints. We have a tendency to think that as long as we are not getting any complaints, things must be going OK. But Zero Complaints is a very poor standard of excellence for a law enforcement agency.

ExpectationsPolice officers must learn to exceed citizen expectations by giving them a WOW experience. The problem is that we don’t really know where their expectations are. So, as a professional police officer, you must ground their expectations in reality by telling them what you are going to do, and then doing it. In this way, you control their expectations. In fact we have a term to describe someone who does what they say they are going to do. We say that person has a lot of Integrity, which is the first step in forming trust-based relationships as we outlined in the Relationship Diamond.

And remember the Expectations Maxim:

Unfulfilled Expectations Damage Relationships

But after meeting their expectations, you job is not yet done. Very methodically and systematically, you must go just a little beyond and exceed their expectations. By doing this you will generate a Grateful Spirit which translates into community support for your law enforcement efforts. Failing to meet their expectations, however, gives them an OW Experience. Those hurt and can lead to a Wounded or Bitter Spirit that translates into public criticism and lack of trust. Don’t believe me? Take a look at what is going on in Ferguson and many other places around America. The citizens we are sworn to protect are doubting us, losing faith in us, and worse…

Sheriff Ray Nash
Police Dynamics Institute


Unfulfilled expectations damage relationships. This is a fundamental truth. So as a law enforcement officer entering into a contact with a citizen, you must understand that they have certain expectations about who you are and how you will perform as a police officer. Unfortunately, the citizen’s expectations may be very unrealistic. Therefore, it is up to you to ground their expectations in reality by first telling them what you are going to do, then doing it. It sounds overly simplistic, but it is a powerful principle that we often overlook. Plus we have a word to describe people who do what they say they are going to do. We say they have a lot of integrity, which is the first essential ingredient for building trust and generating public support.

ExpectationsOnce you have established control over their expectations, it is up to you to very methodically meet those expectations. Then go one step further and exceed those expectations. I call this a WOW experience. WOW experiences translate into public support. However, if you fail to meet their expectations, that is an OW experience! And those hurt. They siphon trust out of the relationship.

So my challenge to law enforcement officers all over the world when I conduct Police Dynamics training is to avoid giving anyone an OW experience. But try to give someone at least one WOW experience everyday. In that way you will exponentially begin to build public support and confidence in your agency and the law enforcement profession in general.

Many thanks to Perry Piper for serving as my videographer while I was at Lake Tahoe to record this police training video.


Sheriff Ray Nash

Sheriff Ray Nash

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What Law Enforcement and Community Leaders Are Saying About Police Dynamics

“A few years ago, we brought the Police Dynamics program to the Cincinnati Police Division and were most impressed with the quality of the training and richness of the program.”
Mike Daly
Character Council of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky

"I have attended training conducted by the Police Dynamics Institute in the past and know Ray Nash both personally and professionally. They have my whole-hearted endorsement…"
Sheriff Larry Williams
Orangeburg, SC

"I cannot tell you how excited I am to see this website. I was introduced to your video on the Dynamics of Authority through my father who is a police chaplain for the FBI and local law enforcement agencies here in Las Cruces. I have taught and applied the Dynamics model to my students when I was a teacher, and now to my department as a fire fighter."
Nathan Carr
Las Cruces Fire Dept.

“One of the greatest seminars I have ever attended in the 33 years I’ve been a Deputy.”
Walter Bolinger
Sergeant
Marion County Sheriff’s Office, IN

"I was so impressed by the (Police Dynamics) program that I purchased your video tape series. All Grand County Sheriff’s Employees subsequently viewed the tapes, and I have also mandated that all new Sheriff’s Employees watch it as well."
Glen Trainor
Undersheriff
Grand County Sheriff’s Office

"It is with much enthusiasm that I encourage senior law enforcement executives to make attending the Police Dynamics seminar a key training priority for your agency."
DeWayne Beggs
Sheriff
Cleveland County, OK
former 2nd VP - National Sheriff's Association

"I am convinced of the benefits of the Police Dynamics program."
Jerry Martin
Sheriff
Delores County, CO
former Pres - County Sheriff's of Colorado

"Honestly, I’ve not been more impressed with a police training that I’ve attended in the last 20 years..."
Tom McClain
Chief of Police
Willard, MO

"I am a firm believer that Police Dynamics and Character First! equip the men and women that work for the Oklahoma Sheriff’s Office to do their job and do it better."
John Whetsel
Sheriff
Oklahoma County, OK

"If you believe that good character is an essential element in policing, you will want to send your key staff to Police Dynamics."
David Williams
Sheriff
Tarrant County, TX

"In the three years prior to our character initiative, we had 42 labor and employee grievances, and seven different lawsuits. In the three years since we put the character initiative in place, we have had two grievances and no lawsuits from employees. I think that, in and of itself, is significant."
Rodney Ray
City Manager
Owasso, OK

"This course was one of the best training sessions that I’ve been through. This concept will benefit me and the staff in my division."
Police Dynamics participant

[We have] more awareness of the preventative benefits of a character initiative as opposed to the typical reactive approach to situations. There is a sense of excitement by organization leaders as they begin to see a change in their culture. Bob Powell
Character Council
Fort Collins, CO

"[The Police Dynamics training] brings us closer together, more like a family … it reminds us of why we’re out there and what it’s about.”
Captain John Decker
Dorchester County Sheriff's Office, SC

"This class gave me the vocabulary that I have been looking for to praise and motivate my employees."
Police Dynamics participant

"We’ve built a much better relationship with each other. We’ve seen a decrease in complaints. We’ve become a family instead of a place to work."
Sheriff Howie Godwin
Highlands County, FL

“This shows us a new approach to recognize employees’ character traits - and to acknowledge them for those good traits versus, 'You did an excellent job…' It’s some fresh ideas in an area that we probably all need to change."
Major P.D. Taylor
Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office

"The Police Dynamics training that Ray Nash brought teaches the things that are at the core of being a good police officer – being trustworthy, being of good character…"
Sgt. Julie Shearer
Cincinnati Police Div.

“In the Police Dynamics training seminar, the officers are able to set a standard in their own lives of the kind of character they want to see in their community."
Chaplain Carl Nelson
Colorado Springs Police Department

"Character is the solution to the real problem in our community of crime. Character supplies the answer."
Hon. F.A. Schad
Former Judge
Burleson, TX

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Teofil Parasca
Assistant Superintendent
Arad County Police
Romania

"I would like to work more toward management by principles instead of rules – with an emphasis on character and guiding principles."
Chief Lynn Williams
Chickasha, OK

“We need to return to our basic character traits that made this country great. Ray Nash has the program to do it."
Police Dynamics participant

"This shows us a new approach to recognize those employees’ character traits and to recognize and acknowledge them for those good traits versus, “You did an excellent job…” It’s some fresh ideas in an area that we probably all need to change."
Major P.D. Taylor
Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office

"In the three years prior to our character initiative, we had 42 labor and employee grievances, and seven different lawsuits. In the three years since we put the character initiative in place, we have had two grievances and no lawsuits from employees. I think that, in and of itself, is significant."
Rodney Ray
City Manager
Owasso, OK

"Absolutely fantastic! It reminded me of why I wanted to be a peace officer."
Police Dynamics participant

"the finest value-added training anywhere."
Sheriff David Williams
Tarrant County, TX

"We continue to benefit from your teaching and hire with a strong emphasis on character."
Chief Tom McClain
Willard, MO

"Once again, I feel absolutely indebted to you for the program you have developed and your desire to change the world through the building of better law enforcement officers."
Glen P. Trainor
Undersheriff
Grand County, CO

"Sheriff Ray Nash is an internationally recognized speaker that you and your staff will learn powerful principles from, while enjoying the lesson."
DeWayne Beggs
Sheriff
Cleveland County, OK

"Very comprehensive, a great resource manual for the future. The seminar was dynamic in every way. What a great resource for people throughout their day-to-day routines.”
Doug Carter
Trooper
Indiana State Police