It is clearly possible that there are other aspects of Charlies and Brians relationship that need to be dialogued, but if they had started the meeting with airing their expectations on meeting, they could have spent their energy talking about what their differences were really about, i.e. different expectations. Not on playing a mental and verbal tennis game around what is was really not about, i.e. the number of mega bytes in the RAM.

The advice to you is a simple as it is powerful, make it a habit to start all your meetings with a round-up of the expectations on the meeting. If somebody expects a five-minute quick meeting and somebody else a one-hour thorough meeting it is of great value to get this out in to the open. Another example is if somebody wants a fact-filled decision meeting versus somebody else who feels it is important to spend time on discussing the relationships in the group, then that needs to be adressed also.

Great is the number of relationships and conversations that have dug a hole for themselves due to unspoken expectations both in private life and at work. There is an expression that goes “assume makes an ASS out of U and ME”. There are many conflicts that I have encountered during my years of work in organizations and with people that could have been prevented and resolved in their early stages if the people involved would have been able to speak to each other about their mutual expectations on each other and the doings ahead.

What were your expectations when you started reading this text? Did you hope for something that would give the answer to all your questions, something that solves your present problem or were you hoping for something that would stimulate your own thinking and give you tools to create your own solution to your problems? Regardless of which was true for you these different expectations will have effected how you feel now at the end of the text.

I wish for you excellent, rewarding and productive interactions with other people. It is my sincere hope that the above be helpful to you. If you haven’t already start practicing the question “what do you expect from this/me?” and put your listening ears on.

Markus Eriksson

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