Expectations and Assumptions

What we expect to happen and what does happen can often conflict especially when dealing with other people.  We will often expect people to do or say certain things and then be annoyed or frustrated when those expectations aren’t met.  The problem lies not in our expectations but whether or not we have communicated those expectations.  If an expectation isn’t know then communication will break down.  We should never assume that what we expect of someone is known.  To draw on a classroom analogy it would be just like me yelling at a student for using a pencil without every specifying that I only wanted students to use pens.  That students reaction would just be confusion and disgruntlement.  Instead of acknowledging that they did the wrong thing they would challenge you for never saying that you expected that of them.  There are some things that we can assume people know without us saying.  If instead the student had not been doing the work and I yelled at them for that without ever specifying that I wanted them to do work in my class the student wouldn’t be confused about why they were in trouble and accept it.  Thus we need to understand what we expect and which expectations are commonly known and which ones aren’t.  Assumptions will just lead to miscommunication especially if we are assuming what other people know.

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