During my post graduate program, my media research professor would always emphasize on this statement “never assume anything” it is deadly for your research. Well, it was certainly true then and it holds true in most of our life and work situations.
Can’t understand what I am talking about? Well, you will be able to… just keep reading. There is so much going on in our world and half the time we are simply assuming things. Assuming that someone knows something, assuming that people are stupid or even smart, or that we assume that “we’re better than others” or maybe not. All this chit chat in our head is nothing else but assumptions that we are making about our surroundings and even ourselves.
There is no doubt that assumptions lead to chaos, misunderstandings, and miscommunications whether it is at work, in relationships or in learning, personal development or anything… You name it! When you assume something you are making yourself believe that you know are in a position to know something either better or something to be true and real. However, the chances are it might not be true.
Here’s what assuming things unnecessarily does to you-
- Makes you miss opportunities: I’ve particularly observed this at work, however, it is equally applicable in our personal lives too. Imagine a sales pitch. You’ve sent out emails to people regarding your product and you just assumed your audience to be much different than what it actually is, what happens? You’ve missed out on making your sale, right? Similarly, imagine you’ve applied for a job and haven’t heard from the person, you keep assuming that “they’ll get back,” but what if there was some sort of a situation which couldn’t allow the person to get back in touch with you? You miss the opportunity of getting back in touch and perhaps getting employed. When we assume a situation, we believe it to be true and wire our brains to think differently than we should.
- Makes you take the wrong decisions: We’re naturally hard-wired to judge and presume situations, which leads us to jump to incorrect conclusions (most of the time). This makes us prone to wrong judgments, which affects our decision-making skills along with our ability to perform effectively in situations. So, something to think about?
- Makes you prejudge a situation or a person: This is best applicable in the way we think we communicate and what we believe is the “right way” to behave. Of course, there are common courtesies involved in every society, but it is upon us to ensure we aren’t assuming them. This is most applicable in interactions with different cultures. Your prejudices and assumptions can come in the way of your personal and professional growth as well.
- Makes you miscommunicate: To follow through my previous argument, I’ll mention that often we think we’re speaking the language the other person understands. For instance, I assumed once that just because I am quick with my communications and usually respond to I usually make it pretty clear in my friendships, work relationships that I appreciate a clear communication regarding any meetings, situations or responses. But often situations might not be the same and rather than giving the benefit of doubt our negative assumptions can seriously damage the situation, in the long haul.
- Makes you confident in the wrong areas: And let’s not forget, the fool doth think he is wise, but the wise knows himself/herself to be a fool. I do, sincerely, believe that we all should be confident about our personalities, however, it should not be something that makes you believe that you and another person are on the same page. I am a millennial who loves technology, however, I assumed that all millennials would do the same? Yes, it is true, we are not all wired to use technology in the same way or understand to use it in the same way as well.
And if you ever seem to forget how assumptions can really be deadly to you, tell yourselves, to assume is to make an ASS our of yoU and ME. 🙂 It takes conscious effort to ensure you don’t assume and simple check – communicate or re-evaluate situations. Things would definitely be much different then.
How does this piece resonate with you? Are you the person who assumes things/situations a lot? How do you plan to not do that in the future? or have you ever been a victim of being assumed something you aren’t? What is the best insight you can take from this article? Do put your thoughts in the comments below. I’d really appreciate it.
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