There's an interesting story told by Wayne Dyer about a man who watches a spider trying to crawl out of a sink. The man moves his finger into the spider's path to help him and is rewarded with a spider bite. He tries again and is bitten a second time. Wayne's synopsis: 'That's what spiders do, they bite when threatened.
Why would anyone expect anything else?' We've all been guilty of looking through the same lens. We think that folks should change simply because that's what we expect them to do. And then, we're greatly disappointed when they don't change according to our wishes.
We find it simple to observe someone else leading his life and to think we know what's better for him than he does. We find ourselves stating: "If he would only ____ or if she would stop _____, they would be so much better off." We've not walked in their shoes. We can't possibly know everything there is to know about their values, motives or goals.
The key to expecting people to change is to be very certain of what you are getting yourself into. People don't like to change and when they do, would prefer that it's their choice, not yours. Questions to ask yourself are: *Is it possible for this person to change? If "No," I need to adjust my own sense of expectation? *What would motivate them to make this change? *What do I really want? *Is my take on this coming from reason or from unreasonableness? *How will they benefit from the change? *Who else will benefit? *Will anyone be hurt? *How does this fit in with my perception of their goals, values or beliefs? If you choose to proceed, find a way to express your need in a manner in which it is heard by your recipient. Abraham Lincoln said: "As I plan to confront another, I spend one third of the preparation time thinking of what I'm going to say, and two thirds anticipating what they'll say.
" No one wants to be told to change. Putting your suggestion in the form of a question or innocent statement of curiosity (What if you were to approach it in this manner?) gives the listener more time to think it through for himself. Give them this time to process. Their own version and insight might be better than yours.
Lofty expectations are good. In fact, that is why you take the time to read these success 'thoughts' each week. You expect yourself to grow and change and stay ahead of your game. On some level, you expect those around you to do the same.
Setting expectations that are too high for ourselves and our associates sets us both up for failing. It was unreasonable to expect the spider want to change his behavior. Oftentimes, we're not aware of how high we've set our expectations, nor do we question them or realize how damaging they are. Begin this week by looking into the people or situations that irritate you. What are your expectations? How can you initiate a change? Is it up to you to simply modify what you expect or do you want to delicately initiate a chance in another? I would spend more time looking inward to see what kind of change you can be expecting before approaching another.
Once you decide what you've discovered for yourself after this read and some introspection, have a great week!.
For the sake of keeping your career fresh and on track, would you like to enjoy a weekly shot-in-the-arm from Master Certified Coach Ann Golden Eglé? You can sign up for her free weekly ezine, The Success Thought of the Week, at http://www.gvsuccesscoaching.com .