Expectations can define relationships – good or bad

It is all about relationships. It is difficult to conceive of an aspect of our lives where we are not involved with relationships, where we do not depend on relationships. In our careers, we have relationships with fellow employees, with customers and suppliers, with supervisors and subordinates. How we deal with those relationships has a profound impact on us.
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It is all about relationships. It is difficult to conceive of an aspect of our lives where we are not involved with relationships, where we do not depend on relationships. In our careers, we have relationships with fellow employees, with customers and suppliers, with supervisors and subordinates. How we deal with those relationships has a profound impact on us. One of the elements that impact those relationships most is the expectations we have of them.

Life, both personal and professional, is a complex web of interactions with other humans. How we deal with those interactions will make the difference between happiness and sadness, success and failure.

There are many variables that impact our interactions with others. One of them is how our expectations align and co-exist. When expectations are clear and complementary, great things can come out of our interactions with others. When expectations are unclear, unstable, or in conflict, it is likely those interactions are doomed.

The next five issues of this series will discuss expectations, how they affect our interactions with others, and how we can manage those expectations for greatest effectiveness and satisfaction.

Specifically, we will look at:
• The dangers of unstated expectations
• The struggle of conflicting expectations
• The law of perpetually expanding expectations
• The advantages of managed expectations, and
• The power of harmonious expectations.

In the meantime:
• Evaluate the interactions you have on a daily basis. Do you consider all of them to be a form of a human relationship? The person behind the counter at the convenience store? The person cleaning your office? That challenging customer or supplier?
• As you engage in conversation, via email, phone, or in person, listen for the expectations that others have, and that you have.

Next in the series:The Dangers of Unstated Expectations on SNEWS® Sept. 20, 2006

© Ascent Advising 2006 (reprinted exclusively by SNEWS® with permission)

Dave Bartholomew is a principal with Ascent Advising, providing wide-ranging business advisory services to companies around the globe. His 30 years in leadership roles in the outdoor industry equip him well for coming alongside business owners and executive teams in moving their companies ever upward. His popular email newsletter, “Adages from Ascent”, brings to light vital and innovative concepts for running a business. For a free subscription, and to view past issues of the newsletter, visit AscentAdvising.com and follow the link for “Adages from Ascent”. Dave can be reached at Dave@AscentAdvising.com or 206-669-7055.

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