Assume and You Lose

Assume and Loose
Have you noticed that when people assume they know what you meant – often they misunderstood?

Can you recall a recent conversation where you assumed you understood the other person and you messed up because you assumed wrong?

One piece of the puzzle seldom shows you the whole picture.

Assumption seems to be the biggest cause of failed communication.

That’s curious because it happens often yet we keep repeating our mistakes.

The first step to overcome assumption is to listen without judging or jumping to conclusions. The next step is to ask for clarification and listen carefully. The next step might be to check your understanding one more time.

When you what to clarify your understanding first ask an open question and listen. Then ask a closed question or state your understanding and listen.

Why might people assume?

They believe they can read your mind.
They want to demonstrate eagerness by getting started.
They want to impress you.
They didn’t listen and don’t want you to know.
They believe that they are saving time by not asking you to explain.
They are insecure about your relationship.
They don’t want to spend any more time in your presence.
They are intimidated by you.
They are overeager to please you.
They don’t know how to ask good questions.
They believe that they should know and are afraid to ask questions.
They believe that motion is action.
They see themselves as a victim.
They think that you might be testing their knowledge.

Of course those are only my assumptions.

The next time you have a conversation or listen to a speaker ask yourself, "What assumptions have you made before or while listening to that person?"

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1 comment:

Shariza Signe said...

Good post! It is important that we listen to the speaker so we don't have to make them repeat what they say. If something is unclear, we can always ask questions at the end of every speech.