Making the implicit explicit.
Why unspoken expectations are premeditated resentments.
Think about what bothers you in any given relationship.
A colleague. Your boss. Your significant other. A friend.
Once you have a specific example in your head, ask yourself the following question:
Do I carry an implicit expectation of this person that might not be clear to them?
Your answer is possibly no, but I’d guess it’s a yes.
Implicit expectations are the root of a large percentage of issues in relationships with our fellow humans. They’re implicit because these expectations seem obvious to us, and they lead to frustration because there’s a strong chance they aren’t obvious to the other person. They go unspoken because we don’t feel like they need to be spoken.
Of course you should show up to meetings on time!
Of course you should put the dishes away when you’re done eating!
Of course I want to be invited to the thing!
Obvious to us. Not obvious to the other person.
One of the exercises I have my coaching clients do is create a Standards and Expectations document with their team. In short, they collectively make the implicit explicit, defining what “the bar” is for everything from communication to meetings to daily work.
If you think an exercise like this seems intimidating or overkill, trust me when I say this: the people in your orbit want more clarity from you, not less. People get a sense of relief when they know where they stand and what is expected of them.
As Neil Strauss so perfectly captured this idea, unspoken expectations are premeditated resentments.
If you want to improve your relationships, start by making the implicit explicit.
If you find value in the things I publish here, it’d mean the world if you’d share it with someone else. It’s the only way this space and community continues to grow.
✌️ and ❤️,