Like a TV super-hero with a different arch nemesis to fight every week, I go through different phases regarding which human foible is the greatest scourge.
Sometimes I think it’s unexamined assumptions. Sometimes I think it’s projecting.
Sometimes I think it’s gum.
I know that’s not exactly a human foible, but, boy, do I get all foible-y when someone is chewing it loudly around me.
These days I’m on a tear about shared expectations. I think they’re vital and I don’t think we enjoy them often enough, no matter how often managers might talk about “getting everyone on the same page.”
To the extent that ever happens, it’s only a beginning. I mean, what does everyone think will happen when you turn the page? Those expectations really influence how people will act, and react over time, which will affect your ability to plan and implement projects successfully, whether you’re planning a day at the beach or a new program initiative.
Kind of like a crime family, expectations which aren’t shared build on the activity of another evildoer – unexamined assumptions.
Take the recent claims by some conservative American politicians that people whose unemployment benefits have run out shouldn’t receive extended benefits because unemployment has spoiled them and they’re not really looking for work.
I have to figure these politicians have never been on unemployment. How else could they assume that people who have just seen their incomes cut in half are so content they don’t want anything better. Even after six months or more, these folks just love being unemployed.
I think that’s a ridiculous assumption, but something like that must be behind these politicians expecting American workers to cheat and game the system.
That’s an expectation I refuse to share. I think the vast majority of American workers, whether they have a job or not, are willing to bust their butts in pursuit of success.
And I say one of the best ways to get a boost in that pursuit is to make sure you and those around you share some expectations regarding what that success is and how to go about achieving it.
We understand how important it is for people contemplating marriage to make sure they have similar expectations regarding their life together; from how they feel about having children, working and living arrangements and the frequency of hot pepper use.
Having similar conversations about career expectations is equally important, and it’s good to have them with your colleagues, co-workers and supervisors as well.
Maybe even politicians.
by Danielle Dresden