I have a high value on communication. I try to be a good communicator. I over communicate. I take more time than is necessary to try and communicate. And I sometimes also suck at communication.
Often – I get disappointed by other people’s lack of communication. I expect that if the friendship is important enough then people will share, give you a heads up, talk to you, ask questions, find out what your thoughts are, well…communicate.
My wife, Karen, says that people don’t think they same way that I do. That my preference is not the status quo. That my expectations are too high. This usually comes after I am disappointed because people don’t communicate at the level I wish they would.
It begs a bigger question. Is it ok to have expectations around how, what and when people should communicate?
I know the biggest pathway to disappointment is to have expectations. I know it. I have been down that road. And I’m sure people have had disappointment in me.
However, how does this whole thing work? I do have expectations that if you are in a business relationship with me and you want to change it – that you pick up the phone and talk as opposed to sending an email.
I do have expectations that if you change your mind about something that you were adamantly against before and together, you and I have spent a lot of time, effort and talking about it – that you share your shift in direction.
Communication is about respect and relationship.
This isn’t about getting my approval, or for me to talk to you about what to do or not to do. It isn’t about agreement even. This is about integrity. It is about honesty. It is about sending the message: ‘hey, you are important to me. We have spent time together creating conversations, creating memories, creating important work, (insert whatever we created) – and I am connected to you – so I want to share my shift.’ I don’t think it is too much to ask or to expect.
So with the whole “you shouldn’t have expectations for others” then I begin to question do we just all go around with such detachment? Do we all go around with ‘however you want to show up is fine’ attitude? That feels so “settling”. It feels like such a surface level way to operate. So instead, I will still share my thoughts on communication – and if they resonate with you and we go to a deeper level of connection – fantastic. And if they don’t resonate – then I will move on. At the end of the day, I know that I have to feel good with the way I communicate. I expect that of myself.
Expecation coaching questions to ponder:
- What does the word expectation mean to you?
- What expectations do you have that are non-negotiable?
- What expectations would be better to loosen up on?
- Where do expectations work in your favor?
- Where do expectations work against you?
- Where do your expectations of yourself get in your way?
- Where do your expectations of yourself drive you to success?