On a recent trip to Poland I got thinking about how many assumptions we make on a daily basis. The reason was that I had an image in my mind about what Poland would be like and surprise surprise, I was wrong.
The trip itself was amazing. I got to experience a whole new culture, try an amazing variety of food, visit some wonderful museums and learn more about the history of Poland.
In our everyday lives, assumptions play a big part in how we interact with people. All we need is a bit of partial information and we then fill in the blanks.
We often make assumptions based on our past experiences but this can be dangerous. An example of this is when you're driving. I've seen it before when people assume that another driver will do a certain action when in reality that actually do something else, narrowly missing, or causing an accident based on the assumption that was made.
Making assumptions is something we all do. However, imagine a world where we didn't!
Instead of assuming that someone wasn't able to do a new piece of work or project, they were given the chance or opportunity to. Or when we interview people for vacant positions, ask the question about their longer term goals rather than assume they won't 'stick around' very long.
I am also guilty of making assumptions. A recent example is when I was really keen on developing an e-learning course. I have the experience and background in learning and development but have not used an e-learning platform before. I assumed it would be extremely difficult and that I wouldn't be able to do it.
After about 2 months of constantly thinking about it, I decided to push my assumption to one side and give it a go.
I now have 3 e-learning courses available online with people signing up to them as we speak.
Thinking about what would have happened if I hadn't pushed past that assumption...basically NOTHING would have happened. I wouldn't have my e-learning platform, I wouldn't be able to reach out to a wider audience and I would still be thinking about how much I wanted to do it.
Assumptions like the one above are linked to our confidence. I didn't think I could do something and assumed it would be very difficult.
Instead, what has happened during this process is that I have learned a new skill and hopefully helped further my business.
I would encourage you all to stop and think before you make assumptions. It may be something at work like a decision you need to make or it may be something out of work like assuming someone is too busy for a chat or to meet up.
Push your assumptions to one side and take a minute to think of the possibilities and opportunities that may arise if you don't assume.
Also, as it's that time of year again, don't assume you won't get any trick or treat visitors and buy some sweets! :-) Worse case scenario, you have some sweets to eat after today! Win win.
To see my e-learning courses available, click HERE