Assumptions contribute in a major way to workplace miscommunication. Assumptions are taken as fact when there is no proof. They are often preconceived misconceptions about a situation, person, group, or task – likely based on past experiences with others. More likely than not, you probably do this a bit more than you’d like to believe.
We can all admit it, at some time or another, we as people tend to assume the best or worst in people. Here are some examples of how assumptions can disrupt the workplace:
- Assuming a team member has a full understanding of a project when they do not.
- Assuming a task or project deadline or urgency.
- Assuming a coworker is upset with you based on the wording in an email.
- Assuming everyone received, read, and comprehended the contents of your email the same way.
- Making assumptions about colleagues based on things like age, gender, race, or even their fashion style or beverage preferences, etc.
When you make assumptions, you forgo communicating at all. That’s when things get costly. Most people like to think that when they assume, that they are always right about their assumptions. Some say, “I trust my gut. I’m always right when I have this feeling.” When really, that is just another assumption. Imagine the time saved by simply asking a question instead of drawing unfounded conclusions about co-workers and projects.
Four simple reminders to catch yourself before you make a false assumption:
- Ask (don’t assume)
- Respond (avoid reacting)
- Reconsider (think about it)
- Communicate (regularly)
The Solution in a word: COMMUNICATION. Success Trek can help to educate and engage your team to improve skills and abilities, including the skill of effective communication to avoid the pitfalls of assumptions. Contact us to discuss how Success Trek can strengthen your company from within.