Expectations and Conflict

Cinergy Coaching by Cinnie Noble

One of the things that can lead to conflict has to do with unmet expectations. For instance, we had hoped that another person would have said or done something that reflects their care and concern for us; they excluded us from a gathering or decision; they had something we wanted and knew it was important to us; or they didn’t provide their support or were unreliable about a matter. These and other examples of having expectations work both ways, of course, and we could have let someone else down in some way too – resulting in conflict.

I don’t think it is easy to identify our expectations until we realize they have not been met. When we experience hurt and disappointment at these times what we needed from the other person often becomes clearer but the feelings we have about what occurred can be pervasive and challenging to manage when conflict evolves.

This week’s ConflictMastery™ Quest(ions) blog invites you to consider unmet expectations in a conflict in your life.

As you consider a current or past conflict, what do you think led to its evolution?

What may the other person answer to this same question?

What specific expectations did you have of the other person prior to the conflict that if she or he met them things would not have turned problematic?

What have you told the other person about those expectations (your answer to the previous question)?

What might her or his expectations have been of you prior to things evolving?

What, if anything, did the other person share with you before the conflict evolved regarding her or his expectations?

What was the outcome of the conflict?

What are your expectations, if any, of the person since the conflict? What else is unresolved for you, if anything?

What may the other person’s expectations be of you since the conflict, if any? What might be unresolved for her or him, if anything?

What would have been different if you didn’t have expectations of the other person before or during the conflict? What would be different now if you didn’t have further expectations of her or him?

What other ConflictMastery™ Quest(ions) may you add here?

                        author

Cinnie Noble

Cinnie Noble is a certified coach (PCC) and mediator and a former lawyer specializing in conflict management coaching. She is the author of two coaching books: Conflict Management Coaching: The CINERGY™ Model and Conflict Mastery: Questions to Guide You. MORE >

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