The Power of Assumptions

“You wouldn’t believe the assumptions I made when I looked up and saw this cloud formation”

Assumptions have tremendous power over the ability to communicate effectively in family business.

Quite often assumptions are made in the absence of facts and people can get caught in self-justifying feedback loops where they ignore facts that do not support their own beliefs and values. And, of course, with assumptions, it’s usually the worst possible scenario that leaps to the top of the list.

Added to this is the fact that our brains want to believe (and we want others to believe) that we don’t make mistakes. We all say and think things as fact when, in reality, it is our belief or assumption.

People think they know what other family members are thinking and feeling and that they also know what is best for other family members – and they’re usually wrong. That is the power of assumptions!

Productive communication can be enhanced when family members have the ability to assess what they really know and what they think they know.

How often do we hear, “I know the park is only 3km further on” when it really should be “I think the park is only 3km further on”.

Different generations working together offers a positive opportunity to examine assumptions and challenge them. This may result in greater understanding, trust and more effective collaboration for the members and the family business.

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