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Answers For The Workplace E-Memo

Overcoming Assumptions

If you’re like most people, you work in a place where assumption can run rings around fact, and mistakes in decision-making are made as a result.

Trainer Bob Pike uses a classroom eye-opener to bring assumption into perspective. Pike says he’ll have a bowl of eggs on a table in front of him while training. He’ll crack a couple of the eggs into a glass bowl and make comment about how fragile the shells are. Later he picks up a number of unbroken eggs and starts throwing them at the participants in the class. Of course the participants all duck, until they realize the eggs he’s throwing are fake, soft rubber eggs. It is at that point that Pike talks about how people assume things—and that making assumptions can create problems.

What follows is a discussion of assumptions the participants have seen people make in their work place, and the problems these assumptions caused when they were treated as fact.

The point is that we live in a non-linear world, yet we make many linear assumptions. To be effective, take each situation as it comes and find the real facts.

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