“The cause of almost all relationship difficulties is rooted in conflicting or ambiguous expectations around roles and goals. Whether we are dealing with the question of who does what at work, how you communicate with your daughter when you tell her to clean her room, or who feeds the fish and takes out the garbage, we can be certain that unclear expectations will lead to misunderstanding, disappointment, and withdrawals of trust.
That’s why it’s so important whenever you come into a new situation to get all the expectations out on the table. People will begin to judge each other through those expectations. And if they feel like their basic expectations have been violated, the reserve of trust is diminished. We create many negative situations by simply assuming that our expectations are self-evident and that they are clearly understood and shared by other people.
Clarifying expectations sometimes takes a great deal of courage. It seems easier to act as though differences don’t exist and to hope things will work out than it is to face the difference and work together to arrive at a mutually agreeable set of expectations.
5-Showing Personal Integrity
Personal Integrity generates trust and is the basis of many different kinds of deposits.
Lack of integrity can undermine almost an other effort to create high trust accounts.
Integrity includes but goes beyond honesty. Honesty is telling the truth—in other words, conforming our words to reality. Integrity is conforming reality to our words—in other words, keeping promises and fulfilling expectations. This requires an integrated character, a oneness, primarily with self but also with life.
One of the most important ways to manifest integrity is to be loyal to those who are not present. In doing so, we build the trust of those who are present. When you defend those who are absent, you retain the trust of those present.
Integrity in an interdependent reality is simply this: you treat everyone by the same set of principles. As you do, people will come to trust you.
Integrity also mean avoiding any communication that is deceptive, full of guile, or beneath the dignity of people. ‘A lie is any communication with intent to deceive,’ according to one definition of the word. Whether we communicate with words or behavior, if we have integrity, our intent cannot be to deceive.
6-Apologizing Sincerely When You Make a Withdrawal
When we make withdrawals from the Emotional Bank Account, we need to apologize and we need to do it sincerely. Great deposits come in the sincere words: ‘I was wrong’, ‘That was unkind of me’, ‘I showed no respect’.
It takes a great deal of character strength to apologize quickly out of one’s heart rather than out of pity.
People with little internal security can’t do it.
Sincere apologies make deposits; repeated apologies interpreted as insincere make withdrawals. And the quality of the relationship reflects it.
It is one thing to make a mistake, and quite another thing not to admit it. People will forgive mistakes, because mistakes are usually of the mind, mistakes of judgment. But people will not easily forgive the mistakes of the heart, the ill intention, the bad motives, the prideful justifying cover-up of the first mistake.”
I concur with Covey on the need for clarifying expectations. In my career it was the major cause of interpersonal “problems”. To learn more about it refer to my post of March 28, 2012.
Habit 4 Think Win-Win
The Laws of Love and the Laws of Life