Do not assume anything! This is easy to say, but sometimes tough to do in the moment. It can seem painless to make an assumption from reading someone’s email, but the real question is what is your assumption, and is it correct? That is where the problem lies.
Anyone working with wood has been told this valuable phrase: measure twice, cut once.
Sounds pretty basic, right? Yes! It’s a simple statement created for one purpose: to prevent a piece of wood from being cut incorrectly. We should have these four words posted above our laptop and on the top of our phone. Think about the number of times you have made an assumption only to be proven wrong later.
Bad assumptions lead to bad consequences, but often the consequences do not turn up right away. For example, a customer may send you an email with a question. Immediately, you draw a conclusion from that question. You begin to assume that you know why the customer asked that and then draw more conclusions from that initial assumption. Before you know it, you are traveling down “assumption highway”. The problem is that you’re going in the wrong direction.
Never assume; always verify! In the era that you (and I) live in, every moment counts and let’s be honest, there is not enough time. Verify first.
You should always verify what’s being said before making an assumption. This will help bring clarity. What would happen if you continually took a second to verify what you thought you heard? When you know all of the correct facts, you will gain potential to deepen the relationship.
In this day in age, it can be easy to blame others and not take responsibility for your actions and beliefs. This makes it that much more important to not assume but verify first. When someone says something, stop and ask yourself what you know about that person. Then, think about what you heard. The chances are, much of what you think you heard and know about them is not actually true but merely an assumption.
It can be scary to think about all of the assumptions we make of others. Turn that around now, and think about the assumptions others make of you. The easiest way to verify other’s assumptions of you is to have a real conversation. Don’t start making assumptions about their assumptions of you! Pick up the phone and have a conversation.