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Do Your Assumptions Empower You or Take You Down?

By August 22, 2018General, Leadership Tips

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.