Dangers of Assumptions

This is part 3 of a 4 part series on an amazing book I have read multiple times “The Four Agreements”.

Part 1 was about how to keep our word impeccable and Part 2 discussed how we need to not take things personally.

If you haven’t checked it out yet I encourage you to do so as I strongly believe it has the power to change lives.

Are your assumptions hurting you and your team?

Assumptions are made so often during the day that I don’t think we could keep track of them. Throughout our daily lives we make assumptions that we sometimes mistake as fact. It’s important to understand the consequences of assumptions and how it can affect our leadership in both our professional and personal lives.

Facts on Assumptions:

The dictionary defines the word assumption as “A thing that is accepted as true or as certain to happen, without proof:”

A few Synonyms of the word assumptions: Belief, Speculation, Guess

How assumptions play an important role in our lives:

Assumptions are the opinions that we have about the person based on our beliefs. Our beliefs are based on past experiences and the opinions of others. We guess/speculate on the facts and we move on with this information without checking if our assumptions are truth.

People then take the assumptions and start gossiping about it. There is nothing positive that can come from gossiping about assumptions. To be clear any type of gossip is destructive to all parties.

As a leader we should never gossip in the workplace and should never allow it to spread in our team. If you think of the world and how people interact with each other you will easily come to the conclusion that gossip is the main source of communication in the world. Think of social media and the speed that news is delivered on a daily basis. Do you believe all of this information is fact? How many fake news/stories/rumours/gossip is started through these outlets?

In the information age that we live in it is easy to camouflage assumptions with the image of fact. This is a very sad truth but one that we have to accept so that we the leaders can influence others to understand the destruction that gossip can bring.

How can we eliminate assumptions?

The biggest advice I would give to try and reduce the assumptions that we make is to ask questions. Being courageous and asking important and difficult questions is the key to opening the chest of truth. Once the answers are found you now have the treasure of facts. Actions can now be taken with confidence. We should also filter the opinions of others and ensure that we always verify the information we receive.

Doing the correct action is usually always the hardest option. This is true for assumptions. Assuming something does not require much effort or time commitment. We use what knowledge and information we already have in our mind usually partnered with our emotions and move forward with our actions. Gathering the facts takes time, energy and courage but this investment will pay huge dividends in our leadership roles.

Let’s keep our guesses for the casino and let’s deal with facts.

Let’s kill gossip!

Reflection Questions

How do you see assumptions in your life?

How do you control yourself in regards to assumptions?

Do you have any experiences to share regarding past assumptions that you have made?

I would love to hear your thoughts and on other ideas on how to eliminate assumptions from our lives.

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