[[Read about the previous two posts in this series here:
“We have the tendency to make assumptions about everything. The problem with making assumptions is that we believe they are the truth, We could swear they are real. We make assumptions about what others are doing or thinking – we take it personally (Read a post about ‘Not taking anything personally at: http://caramelcoaching.com/it-is-not-you-it-is-them) – then we blame them and react by sending emotional poison with our word. That is why whenever we make assumptions. we’re asking for problems. We make an assumption, we misunderstand, we take it personally, and we end up creating a whole big drama for nothing.”
‘Making assumptions’ is a sure shot way to chaos and emotional drama.
Very few amongst you know that while my niche is public speaking coaching, I also offer highly specialised coaching to cancer patients and carers.
A few weeks ago someone got in touch with me, explained that they had received a terminal cancer prognosis and their other specifics and asked if I could help them with coaching.
I considered their case for one full day because cancer is tricky and sensitive, shot a special video for them and sent it off confirming that I could help them.
While I explained how I would help them, I also added, “If after watching this video, you feel that I know nothing about your condition, just let me know….because it may well be true.
The reality is that you are the one who is going through a terminal diagnosis and I am not. It will not be fair on my part to assume that I understand what your needs are and what is it like to receive a terminal diagnosis because hey! I don’t”.
An honest conversation with a fellow human.
Our coaching relationship was so much better because of this authenticity.
At best, we can only guess we know what someone else is experiencing or going through. That is because we extrapolate what their experience might be based on what we think ours’ would be if we were in their place.
Except that never works.
Because they are them, not us.
Not making assumptions is key to brilliant coaching and therefore I do my best to not assume things.
This is something to keep in mind when you think you know what is going on with other people because you do not.
(Inspired by the Third Agreement, ‘Don’t Make Assumptions’, written by Don Miguel Ruiz in his book ‘The Four Agreements’).
Want to learn how not making assumptions can help you improve your entire ecosystem – work, relationships, results and happiness?