Don't Make Assumptions
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Almost every problem in life is caused by an assumption or a sum of assumptions that have built up steadily and quietly inside the minds of individuals. Unfortunately we as a society are all but addicted to assumptions. It is an easy way for us to judge people without actually doing the work that is necessary in getting to know/understand them.
Assumptions are an extreme danger to any organization as they are hidden and are rarely detected, until it is too late…The only way to mitigate assumptions and protect your organization is to encourage open communication as often as possible. But this requires more than just a set of policies on communication, it would require action that begins with YOU. Ensure that you speak with integrity at all times and strive to encourage open communication at all times. Engage your co-workers and subordinates in discourse, especially those that you are not comfortable with. And if you have the ability create events where communication is encouraged. Examples of such events are team building activities or social events where people are able to interact in a relaxed setting.
Remember assumptions are invisible but through a deliberate effort to encourage communication within your organization you will be able to mitigate and potential eliminate assumptions from killing your organization. In the words of Don Miguel Ruiz:
“We have the tendency to make assumptions about everything. The problem with making assumptions is that we believe they are the truth. We could swear they are real. We make assumptions about what others are doing or thinking — we take it personally — then we blame them and react by sending emotional poison with our word. That is why whenever we make assumptions, we are asking for problems. We make an assumption, we misunderstand, we take it personally, and we end up creating a whole big drama for nothing.”
~Excerpt from “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz