Not knowing what others expect of you can lead to miscommunication and often mistrust.
Everyone (including you) has expectations of what should happen in a given situation. While it is possible to control one’s own “shoulds” it is a skill to be able to manage someone else’s. And basic to that skill is knowing how to discuss expectations.
Your client may expect certain behaviors from you, but until you have had a specific discussion to manage those expectations, you are vulnerable to the “shoulds” they hold for you.
Action – In its simplest form, a managing expectations conversation starts like this – “I’d like to share with you what you can expect from me and what I expect from you.” Yes, it is short, sharp and direct, but it is the best way to get to the heart of the matter fast, respectfully and professionally.
The next time you find yourself in a disagreement, look back to find the expectations that were never discussed.