Mindreading 101

By Pamela A. Scott

It has happened a few times this past week, with different clients. Partner A expects Partner B to understand what he wants Partner B to do—without actually expressing those expectations. In the meantime, Partner B is waiting for Partner A to tell him what A wants B to do. But Partner A isn’t talking and Partner B isn’t asking.

It’s enough to drive a communications consultant berserk!

We are NOT mind readers. None of us.

Whether it’s with your business partner or your life partner—or the dry cleaner or the pharmacist—you must tell people what you expect of them. You must ask your partner what he or she expects of you.

About a year ago, Pete and Sunny went through a workshop that showed how different their expectations were from what the other thought. The workshop used Gary Chapman’s book “The Five Love Languages.”

What Pete and Sunny learned is that Pete expects to be appreciated for what he does. It seems Sunny needed to improve how she expressed that appreciation. Sunny expected Pete to help out around the house, but Sunny didn’t ask him to help. Sunny just got mad when he didn’t do what she expected him to do.

But the major thing they learned—they can’t read minds. And neither can you or should you.

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