January 4

Think about a few moments in your life when you’ve experienced conflict. You just knew the other person was in the wrong, and you were definitely on the right side of the argument. Or maybe you were frustrated by someone on your team who just didn’t seem to pay attention to detail or was perpetually late in delivering their work.

Now, consider this: How much of that conflict was sourced in expectations you had of the other person? And were those expectations ever communicated to the person?

The vast, vast majority of conflict in the workplace is the result of missed expectations. Someone expects something from a team member, customer, or stakeholder, and when it isn’t delivered, it almost feels like a personal assault.

Except it isn’t. Especially if that expectation was never clearly communicated and agreed to by the other party.

We carry so much residue into our relationships and collaborations because we remember slights that were never intended and hold grudges of which the other party is completely oblivious. These unfair grudges corrode our creative process and our ability to collaborate.

Is there an unmet expectation that is causing conflict in your professional life? Your personal life? Have you communicated that expectation in a clear, empathetic way? If not, I challenge you to do so today.

Don’t carry the pointless burden of the unmet expectations of others. There’s enough on your plate.


Is there any conflict you’re experiencing due to missed or unspoken expectations? How can you resolve it?

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