Anyone who is familiar with London’s underground railways system will know the warning ‘mind the gap’. It alerts travelers of the space between the platform and the train. However, I find it a very useful tool for the warning of gaps in both communication and expectation management.
To handle communication first. Experience has taught me that most of us spend a great proportion of our lives trying to make ourselves clear. It’s as if we say one thing but our recipients hear something very different. ‘Mind the Gap’ can be a useful reminder to prompt us to ask the right questions to be sure we are correctly understood.
But ‘Mind the Gap’ works equally well to warn us of the gap between what we hoped to achieve and where we find ourselves. Disillusion, as it is commonly referred to, is often the result of poor expectation management and its de-motivational consequences can absorb enormous amounts of energy to overcome.
The writer Zoe Heller uses ‘Mind the Gap’ in her book ‘Notes on a scandal’ (also a very fine film by the way). In her case the character ‘Sheba’ (in the film played brilliantly by Kate Blanchett) tells us that her father reminder her to ‘mind the gap’ between her dreams and her reality.
So, I think that, the things that we should look out for in life are not necessarily the deep philosophical issues, over which we often have little self-control, but the small day to day stuff like not being understood or not managing the expectations of others.
Hoping I touched a shared thought?
Have a good week,