If there is one thing I know, that is absolutely one hundred percent true, it is the fact that the things we assume are wrong most of the time. If you will take just a few minutes to read the final Tip of this year and apply it in the future, I promise that 2021 will be one the best years of your life!
Assumption is the poison that kills personal and business relationships, derails success, and tarnishes everything that it touches. That is because when you assume something, you are simply taking a “guess” at a situation. It is like shooting in the dark. It is impossible to read someone else’s mind, and it is impossible for someone else to read your mind. The wise thing to do in any situation is to take just a second to gain clarity. There is a method I have created to do just that! Get your 3X5 card ready!
I have seen more business deals lost and more relationships hurt because of this one factor than any other thing in my life. Yet, it is such a simple issue to overcome. It only requires proper thinking and speaking some correct words. Proper thinking goes along these lines: “You know, I am not exactly sure what is going on, so please give me the chance to talk this situation over with my friend to be sure that we both have the same understanding.” That’s it! Write down that sentence and keep it close to your monitor. Or, even better, memorize it! Then simply follow through and talk to the other person to get things clarified.
I want to give you some suggestions as to how you can start the conversation. Here are four sentences that you can use when talking to someone in order to gain clarity and eliminate assumptions:
1. “Here is my understanding about this situation… Am I correct?”
2. “Here is my thinking about this situation… Am I thinking correctly?”
3. “I am thinking the ball is in my court about this situation… Am I right about that?”
4. “I am thinking the ball is in your court about this situation… Am I right about that?”
Any one of those four simple sentences will help bring clarity to any situation. If there is some confusion or misunderstanding that could possibly crop up, having a simple conversation will eliminate the unknown factors so that everyone can see what is taking place with much more clarity. However, making assumptions, or guessing at what is going on in another person’s mind does absolutely no good. None!
Might I add a word of caution? When you choose to have that conversation, always share your perspective with the correct voice tones, not blaming, accusing, or belittling the other person’s point of view. End you sentence with, “Is my thinking correct about this situation?” Consider the fact you could be mistaken. If you are, the other person will tell you so. And, if you are not, you will have opened the door for them to clarify things and everyone will be better for it.
So, to sum up what I am trying to say to you, assumptions are dangerous and will get you into trouble! If you want to assume something, just assume that what you are assuming is probably incorrect. That assumption will be correct most of the time! (That is one of the most profound things I have ever said in my life!) If you take that posture and will try to clarify things, the assumptions will go away, and clarity and focus will rise to the surface.
I wish everyone would practice this Tip! I have seen so many hurt feelings simply because someone was assuming something that they should not have been assuming. The situation could have been clarified with one brief conversation.
I do not think I am the smartest person in the world by a long shot. I know that I still have a lot to learn in my life. But if there’s one thing I do know, it is that assuming things is the absolute worst way to go through life. However, talking about them and clarifying matters will cause everyone to be more successful, have better relationships, and accomplish their personal and professional goals and dreams.
If I could wave a magic wand and put this Tip into effect in your life, I would do so. So, “Bippety-boppety-boo, hocus-pocus, abra-kadabra and SHAZAM!” Now you have had the magic words spoken. You are all set to put this WISDOM TIP into practice in the future and eliminate confusion in your life forever. What a way to live!
Tip: Clarity trumps assumptions every time!
Have a great week! God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm