Unspoken Expectations

Have you ever had someone get mad at you because you didn’t do something that they were expecting you to do?  But they didn’t tell you what it was.

Happens all the time.

Part of my role as a business/leadership coach is to help people work through conflicts that they are dealing with.  Most of the time, it becomes apparent that one of the two parties didn’t tell the other exactly what was expected.  They assumed that the other person would just figure it out.

Never seems to work.

I even see it with parents parenting their kids.  Johnny doesn’t do what mom and dad wants him to do, so they get mad.  But they never clearly defined what their expectations were.

I see it in marriages.  One partner wants the other to do something but doesn’t tell the other what they want.  Many times this can damage the relationship.

Why do we not do this well? 

  1. We don’t take the time to tell the other person.
  2. We assume that they should already know.
  3. We irrationally think that they can read our minds.

I’ve done a full scientific survey . . . No one can read your mind.  In the history of the world, it has never worked, so it’s time to start telling people what you want, how you want to be treated, and what your exact expectations are.

Interesting . . . That seems to work!

Paul said this in 1 Corinthians 2:11,

“For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him?”

Good point Paul!

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