To Keep Relationships: Don’t Assume Anything
Communicating effectively to keep relationships together takes work. When you understand that other people may have different motivations for their actions you are taking one big step in communicating effectively. You can go far toward preventing communication difficulties when you do not assume you know their motivations. If you want to understand others, including those with drastically varying world views, it might be a good idea to learn their motivations for their actions rather than jumping to conclusions. You may save a relationship, partnership, or your business.
We have learned to make assumptions that we are not aware of as young children. We make them without realizing it. Usually these assumptions are not the truth. They are personal responses in our minds, to what people are thinking or doing, or even what they might do. We cannot read minds. Perhaps you have rehearsed in your mind what to say when you think you know the other person’s answer to a problem. In other words, making assumptions does not lead to effective and productive communication. What do you do then to change your thinking?
Three Steps to Change Your Thinking
- Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want.
- When you assume you know what other people are thinking or want without asking questions, you are opening yourself up to problems including total misunderstandings and many times anger. You are not communicating.
- You can completely transform your business and personal relationships with this one tip: do not make assumptions. Did you ever hear the phrase, don’t assume anything? In other words, simply do not assume, ask questions to be sure you are on the same track as the other person, and make sure you completely understand the expected results.
These steps will change your thinking and you will find yourself on the path to communicating effectively.