Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Cost of Assuming Wrong

Has anyone ever responded in a aggravated way to you without knowing all of the facts? Sure it’s happened to all of us. Maybe they misunderstood what was to be delivered, maybe they didn't see the extra services that you performed, or maybe they got their information 2nd or 3rd hand. In any regard they made an incorrect assumption and as a consequence they blamed you.

Have you ever assumed incorrectly in a similar way and blamed someone else? Our court system is filled with people who have assumed wrong. It is almost impossible not too...I am not proud to say this, but I know I’ve assumed wrong and laid blame prematurely many times.

In our fast paced world the speed at which we are being required to make decisions continues to accelerate. Through this process, it is sometimes just easiest to assume the worst of someone.

This ready, fire, aim reaction when we assume has a dramatic effect on relationships and trust. Our aggressive and ego centered communication builds walls where we should be building bridges.

Take a moment and imagine the last time that you thought the worst about someone. You now see them somehow messing up and you see the challenge that it causes you. Even if you have all of the facts, do you think they started their day by saying “I am going to really mess up today and cause challenge for someone important to me”?

What would change if we assumed that the people around us have the best intent not the worst? Would our relationships improve? Would we build trust? It would be nice to find out wouldn’t it? We’re not going to perfect, but let’s do a lot better.

For more information on building trust read Elements of Building Trust or When Trust Breaks Down There are 5 Rules.

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