Expert Marketer Magazine

Building a bridge to better communication

by Sy OgulnickJuly 2016

All humans have expectations and a few have no problem making them fully known to those important to them. Most people, on the other hand, do have trouble making their expectations known, in particular to those most significant to them. But even those few that have little or no difficulty expressing their expectations to others may err in that what they say and do so that honest dialogue is perceived as impossible. In fact, too often, what is conveyed by those in power is “my way or the highway.”

The problem is complex and troublesome whether expectations are delivered directly or withheld as long as what is expected is not open to dialogue, and ideally, Genuine Dialogue between people. (Genuine dialogue is only possible between equals that feel respected. Respect is essential to feeling equal and is also felt, not simply heard.) 

Those that possess the power to influence, whether parents over their children, friends, co-workers, teachers, boss/employees and any in relationships where hierarchy for any reason exists are bound to have expectations as long as they are leaders. So whether outwardly recognized (stated) or invisible (felt) expectations do have considerable impact on the state of the relationships they are in.

By bringing our expectations to the table; laying them out as clearly as possible so that dialogue (again, as genuine as possible) takes place and conveying to the other(s) an understanding that negotiation is what needs to take place, not acquiescing and false agreement.

It is a matter of history that humans have great difficulty in learning from their history so we repeat endlessly using the same old, same old answers to problems that repeat themselves. Reading what our historians write is interesting, but obviously does not do the best job in getting us to resolve many of our current problems. To live in a supportive, nurturing, accepting way with each other is what humanity has sought for thousands of years. Is dealing with our “expectations” a contributing answer?  More to follow.  Sy


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