More on expectations


In last week’s blog I wrote about making a request, instead of waiting for other people to understand our silent expectations of them. Now how do we make an effective request that get people in motion?

Here are a few pointers:

  • Look directly at the person you are talking to.
  • Make sure the person you are talking to is giving you his/her full attention.
  • Be clear: what do you want the listener to do?
  • Talk about the standards that we want him/her to apply.
  • Give a clear timeframe like “by 5pm tomorrow”. Avoid  “a.s.a.p.” or “when you get a chance” as you might have different standards here than the person you are talking to.
  • Watch the mood of yourself and the other person: you both need to be in the right mood. The right conversation in the wrong mood is the wrong conversation!
  • And last but not least, create a context: make sure you and the person you are talking to have a background of shared obviousness.

Have fun practicing!


Source: “Language and the pursuit of happiness” by Chalmers Brothers