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Communication – Part 3 “Expectation – The Illusion of Communication” By Coach Dave Beam

Expectation is an anticipation of behavior and outcome. It is a mental requirement placed on another person. I expect my employee to show up at work on time. I expect them to have a good attitude. I expect them to care about the customer. I expect them to do their job. Employees expect to be paid. They expect to be acknowledged for a job well done. They expect the boss to be understanding and reasonable when they have personal problems.

People also carry unusual expectations from their past. They expect abuse and attack from others, or, they expect to be left alone. Some expect to have a world without problems and challenges, and others expect everything to be a problem.

Unmet expectations create disappointment and resentment. Everyone has them, and they are the dysfunctional basis for poor communication. I talk to frustrated business owners and managers that are upset that their expectations are often not met. They interpret non-compliance to their expectations as a personal disrespect. Often, employees are not even aware that they have violated an expectation. They are offended that they are called out and in trouble, because their head is filled with their own expectation for respect and appreciation.

It’s time to stop the drama!!! Please understand that expectations are the fuel for organization drama. As the leader, it is your responsibility to remove this fuel through by replacing expectations with agreements. Agreements cure negativity and company drama. In the next article, I am going explain how to lead your team out of the subjective swamp of myth, stories, and expectation and move toward the objective clarity of agreement. When we expect, we disrespect, and when we agree, we are set free!


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