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  • Writer's pictureDon Cruickshank


Teams and those on teams get into trouble when they do not check the assumptions.

We all have assumptions about why somebody did/did not do/say/act a certain way.

Before we say, "You must have...", "You clearly...", "It's obvious...", we should check our assumption. It just might be wrong.

Often what is actually at play is a difference of style in problem-solving, processing information, managing change, and/or facing risk.

You do not have to fall into these traps as a team!

Wise team members and leaders will ask the question (in a clam, non-aggressive tone), "When you say that do you mean?", "Is it right then to believe?" My favorite is to ask a question about the opposite of my assumption, "Would you be just as happy if (insert the opposite of my assumption)." I am often surprised that my assumption really was a judgement about the other person, their motive, and their desire.

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