You’re an assumption-making machine. You constantly make assumptions. About your staff. About you. About the world around you.
Assumptions help you make sense of the world. But there’s a trap.
Assumptions operate at the unconscious. So by definition you’re not, well, conscious of them.
And they drive how you lead others. How can you unearth assumptions?
Tip #1: Accelerate alignment by checking your assumptions with others.
‘I assume you’ve got money in your budget for this project.’
‘I assume your team will stay very involved.’
Tip #2: Reveal assumptions others are making about you.
‘What assumptions is your team making about my role? ’
‘What do you assume the donor’s expecting from us?’
Feels abrupt to say ‘here’s what I’m assuming’? Try:
‘I’m guessing that…’
‘I’m thinking that…’
‘I wonder if…’
Or my favorite: ‘Here’s what I’m making up’.
Naming assumptions reveals your biases. At full throttle, these biases can serve you. Or they can take you down.