What if expectations for new employees were explicitly stated?
What if expectations in a relationship of any kind were stated up front and openly?
What if parents clearly and consistently stated their expectations for their children?
I could go on, but you get the gist of what I’m suggesting. I don’t expect this to occur very often because many people are understandably afraid to say what they really want from employees, relationships, or from their children. They might expect to encounter resistance, outright defiance, and possible ridicule if they were to make their wishes known.
On the other hand, such candor might have beneficial results for all concerned, if the communication could be delivered in a non-threatening manner.
Suppose new employees were told: You are here for the purpose of making money for the company. Conduct yourself accordingly and you will be appropriately compensated. If and when you are no longer able to make money for the company, you will be let go.“
That tells an employee right up front what he can expect from this employer. If it doesn’t fit his vision of what work should be, he should not take the position. If he is hired, it also lets him know when he should look for a position in another company.
This is actually the viewpoint most companies have, but they carefully mask their intentions under a lot of fine words like professional environment, hiring the best of the best, industry leader in the field of …., etc.
Suppose expectations in a relationship were stated in similar fashion:
I want a wife who will support me through graduate school.
I want a rich husband with a great build who dances well.
I want a spouse who does what he/she is told.
My children must be quiet and obedient.
These are all actual expectations that I have observed. Strangely enough, these and even stranger requirements are being met every day by those who feel that such a relationship is worthwhile. The point I am making here is that telling the truth is not necessarily dangerous. If you can communicate your expectations clearly, you will probably find someone who is willing to deal with you. The price you may have to pay is another thing entirely.
Concealing your intentions is of temporary value only. Your employees, spouse, and children eventually find out what you really want and you end up dealing with the upset later rather than sooner.
This works for employees also. If you put your cards on the table early in the first interview, you will quickly find the measure of this proposed employer. It will save you a lot of upset and wasted time if you find out early that you are needed as a gofer or extra pair of hands instead of playing the professional role you anticipate. You may take the job anyway to have an income, but you won’t stop looking for a better position.
Some may see this open communication of expectations as a total deal-breaker, and so it will be in a lot of cases. If your expectations do not create the possibility of an even exchange, you will not get many takers, but you will save everybody , including yourself a lot of time.
For those of you who understand exchange, an open expression of your expectations for work and for relationships may open the door to a simpler and happier existence.