Each one of us has an imperceptible version of a secret “rule book” completely rooted in our brains. These ground rules determine our anticipation of how people have to behave with us, also what we think is equitable, righteous and impartial.
We critic people, by this book. We have these guidelines about how to be gracious, grateful, accepting, attentive, compassionate and to provide the needed effort to certain projects. We have guidelines about when can we answer e-mails and requests and when to respond to calls. When we should deal with problems, help with projects and above all a common idea about what people should or shouldn’t do.
People go by their own guidelines and may be unacquainted with yours. Despite of the fact that they may be familiar with your rules, that doesn’t imply that they will go by them. Monitor your own rules when you get bothered and disappointed with a client, colleague, acquaintance or loved one. Without knowing it they may have openly broken one of your guidelines. Once this happens, your response may be to discipline or detach from the wrongdoer. Just make sure to remember that dictating expectations on people makes things worse by generating or expanding a gap between you and them.
Either if it is whispered, discussed or overheard the coming commentary are certain indications that people are confused or irritated and that someone’s rules have been broken:
- Who does she think she is, getting involved?
- Each individual must complete his/her share of tasks!
- It’s not my responsibility! People should change the coffee pot, make their own plans and gather their own things.
- She’s been here for a long time now, and she should know what to do on her own.
- They should have done what I told them to!
Try to check out your guidelines when every violation takes place. Are you being rational? Collecting proof of the violations is in vain. Instead of doing so, you should devote your energy to generate, good relations with your co-workers. You may find out that some of your rules should be abandoned.