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Clear Expectations

Updated: Jan 30

In a conversation, both the listener and the one who needs to be heard need to be clear in their expectations. If Jane is interested in venting, but Sue, the listener, tries to help make things better, Jane isn’t going to be very happy. Similarly, if Jane needs help, and starts by venting, Sue can be as empathetic as can be, but unless she knows that Jane wants actual ideas, she won’t share her thoughts. Jane will be frustrated. However, if Jane starts out saying, “I really don’t want advice. I just need to unload this” – then Sue knows that any suggestions she may have are going to be shunted to the side. Jane will be happier with the outcome, as a result, and able to move on with her day. And if Jane, instead, says, “I’ve been struggling with this, and I really would like any ideas you might have” before sharing what she needs to say, Sue will listen with an ear to helping. Again, Jane will be more satisfied with the outcome of the time together.

And Sue, also, needs to be clear in her expectations. “Gosh, Jane, I absolutely have to go in 15 minutes, but until then, you have my complete attention,” then Jane will know her time constraint, and not be upset when the time to say goodbye arrives. And as a result, Sue, too, will be happier, because she knows she gave Jane the best fifteen minutes, while still being able to meet her outside obligations. Clear expectations – they really are useful in all aspects of life.

HOLD listening appointments start with setting those expectations so that you can feel better and move on with life after venting with us When you're ready for a listener, you can book with us here:

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