We have all heard that if we ASS-U-ME things we risk making an ASS out of YOU and ME.
Yet … we ALL do it!
A friend of my mine wrote a guest blog with the title, “It’s Not Easy Taking The High Road” … and while the blog entry was about approaching a tough situation with a more conciliatory and positive attitude, it was very clear from the outcome that much of the “perceived” problem was caused by assumptions.
Yes … we ALL do it!
I would suggest that sometimes we need to make assumptions… based upon reasonable reasoning, based on trusting other people and based upon a pragmatic approach to life.
The trick is knowing when the risks are higher, and acting to mitigate those risks.
Can you ASSUME that your staff have done the job the way you would want it done? There is no right answer, but I think for those people who have earned your trust then it’s OK to assume … but for new people, or those who have let you down in the past, you should not assume.
The best antidote to being “caught out” by poor assumptions are … good planning, an attention to detail, a pragmatic “risk assessment”, a willingness to make the tough calls when you need to and asking questions to find out!
Life is never black and white, and if you are not taking some risks then you are not pushing hard enough.
Back to my friend’s blog entry. Her mentee made assumptions that could have proven costly … Patricia’s sage advice recognised those assumptions and not only saved the person from a potentially nasty meeting, but also positioned her for future success.
So … ASSUMPTIONS can be dangerous, do what you can to reduce that risk … and when you do assume make sure they are smart assumptions!