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And now, let’s get into the show…
Happy Saturday podcast listeners. I am excited to be back for your weekend refill and today I want to talk about why making assumptions can be toxic to your business.
We all make assumptions. We do it all the time, myself included, and these assumptions can pretty much be about anything or anyone. In our businesses, for example, we assume that because someone doesn’t bring up our product they don’t want to know about it. We assume that because a customer hasn’t ordered in 6 months, they don’t like it or use what they bought. We assume that the team member who doesn’t return our call doesn’t want it bad enough. The list is endless. And it’s so easy for us to think that we know what’s going on, but the truth of the matter is that we don’t really know…instead, we make a guess based on our imagination, past experiences, or wishful thinking.
It’s easier for us to decide the why behind what happened or didn’t, what was done or what wasn’t, but this decision is never based on evidence or facts. Basically, we’re wrapped up in our feelings. We feel. Then we make a decision (ahem assumption) and then we start to believe it as if it were actually true.
The problem with making these types of assumptions is that more often than not, we’re wrong and unfortunately, there’s always fallout. A lot of damage can be done by confusing our assumptions with the truth resulting in us missing out on opportunities, making errors in our judgment or actions, and creating misunderstanding with others.
So why do we do this and what should we do differently? I think it’s part of our DNA to base our understanding not just on the facts we know, but also on what’s going on inside our own minds. But what happens is that instead of relying on what we see and know as fact, we start making judgments based on our emotions, beliefs, expectations, and wishes. We start to confuse our own thoughts and feelings with reality and hide behind our own versions of the reality we’ve created, even though it’s not really real.
So, how do we stop making so many assumptions and start basing our understanding or actions on what is actually true? We simply ask questions instead. Lots of them. Even if this means finding out a truth that might not be what you want to hear.
If we just stopped and took a moment to do some detective work so to speak, and started getting the facts just by asking a few and in some cases, just one simple question we can start to seize opportunities we’ve been missing, know how to move forward more intelligently, make better and wiser plans, and prevent a lot of misunderstanding for ourselves and others.
Imagine what might happen in your business if you stopped acting like a donkey (because I’m not sure I can say the other word on this podcast) and instead just starting asking more questions… ask that person you see every weekend at church if they would like to book an appointment with you, ask your customer if they would like to learn more about what it is that you do, ask your team member what’s hard for them and where they’re getting stuck.
Would you feel so much pressure in your business if you just asked all the time? Would it be so weird or scary? Would you be so desperate for the next sale, the next appointment, the next builder on your team? You don’t have to have all the answers and maybe I can talk about that in my next podcast, but you won’t really ever know if you don’t ask. My Dad, like most parents, was full of golden nuggets and I want to dedicate this podcast to him. For as long as I can remember, he always told me “Don’t ask, don’t get.” If you never ask, you’ll never know…so let me leave you with one final thought, don’t make any assumptions, always make sure to ask. Thanks for tuning in and I’ll talk to you soon!