straight and narrow

Instructions are the opposite of expectations. So often the lack of one leads to failure in the other.

When one of my daughters was learning to drive we decided to let her take a stint on the highway in Wyoming. I pulled off, she took the wheel, buckled up and proceeded to drive and start to turn onto the highway into the oncoming traffic, leading me to scream “Straight, straight, straight” at the top of my lungs. It was traumatic at the time though we laugh about it now. But the failure was on me for not ensuring she knew what was expected of her.

Often in life, work and love we have expectations that are unmet because we never clearly state what is wanted. Don’t count on anyone to read your mind, you’ll almost always be disappointed.


22 Comments on “straight and narrow”

  1. Shannon says:

    Do you remember how you made me sit in the passenger seat and call out the stop signs after we first drove together 🙂

  2. Shannon says:

    Haha. Great advice! 😉

  3. russtowne says:

    Thank you for the excellent reminder, Bill. One of my teachers often said, “That which can be misunderstood will be misunderstood.” I attempt to keep that in mind when writing or otherwise communicating.
    Russ

  4. Clanmother says:

    This is a great analogy! Sometimes I can’t even read my mind!!

  5. Well stated my friend! I read Janet’s comment. I bet there was concern all the way around; but now, it’s another precious memory.

  6. Those of us sitting in the back seat during this session were both a bit concerned, too. 🙂

  7. Communication is vital in every aspect of every relationship as well. without it it is a train wreck waiting to happen.

  8. Eric Alagan says:

    Management is all about managing expectations, I reckon.

    Glad that you and your daughter came out all right from that experiment 🙂

  9. A good point Bill! Sometimes when I know something well, I just think everyone else knows it too. My experience in fundraising is like that, but I’m learning with this new little company I’ve started that I need to explain everything because people don’t know… It feels as odd as explaining that one should put on a coat when it’s cold. Ever feel that way in your line of work?


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