Saturday, January 19, 2008

Tolerance and Expectations

Recent events have bought to the fore again my slack-jawed incomprehension of other peoples lack of tolerance and amazing ability to set expectations (sometimes very unrealistic expectations) of others without ever letting them know.

I am a well-educated person with quite a few years now managing people. The one message I have truly understood (after a few mistakes) is you can't have an expectation of someone else if they don't know about it and agree to it. Communication is key to any relationship - in person, online, work or personal.

Ok, I know society has a basic set of expectations (governed by law and rules in most societal groups).

What has set me off today is people participating willingly in an online community open to all and then either having an issue because others are not behaving to their expectations OR more bizarely thinking that they are not behaving, living up to an expectation they believe the group has of them (completely unstated).

Negotiation and Communication are basic skills that fewer people seem to have. Tolerance is a quality I was educated into and I am very proud of that trait. Don't get me wrong I am not perfect and have my own issues with individuals and groups alike...but it saddens me to see people cutting themselves off to opportunities and experiences due to prejudice and beliefs.

My learning for today - An individual benefits from a community by participating and adding and recieving value that is relevant to the individual, but the individual has to see it that way.

Anyway enough philosophising...back to the knitting.