Don't Make Assumptions

The Four Agreements & how you can use these to gear your life towards success and happiness...

A client introduced me to the "four agreements" last week, which are based on a book of the same name by Spanish author, Don Miguel Ruiz.

We were discussing what this particular client had learnt from our time together and in wrapping up, she mentioned this book as we were discussing making assumptions in the workplace.

Here they are:

We spoke a lot about making assumptions as a leader (or really in all roles in our lives) and the negative impact this can have on communication and building relationships.

Making assumptions about what people are thinking, feeling or experiencing and attributing that to the way they are behaving is never going to produce positive results. Usually in the situations, we are filtering things through our own lens and judging from our own experiences, which are never anyone else's!

When we assume, we interpret someone's experience through our eyes and then often judge these people because of their actions. In fact, we don't know anyone's story, even if they tell us, so what we think and feel isn't necessarily true.

We make these assumptions based on tiny snippets of information that we glean from other people, when we more often than not, don't know the whole story. All we have to go on is that fragmented information, the surface level facts, generally with most people we are dealing with.

Is that enough to cast judgement? To assume we know the details of their thoughts and feelings? What is really driving their reactions and actions? In the majority of cases, most definitely not!

We only know what we ask and what is told to us, which is nowhere near everything.

How is this playing out for you?

Especially as leaders and within organisations with leaders, starting to think about how this could be impacting your workplace and relationships with others.

How can we get better at digging deeper and asking more questions?

I would love to hear from you about what assumptions you are making in your life and how you can reframe them, comment below!

PS Read The Four Agreements here.