As a leader, it can sometimes feel like you need to have all the answers to all of the problems and challenges. Truth is that even the best leaders can only know so much and is why they build teams to deliver results. On the other hand, if you don’t leverage the team you don’t maximise results. One barrier that can often arise is jumping to assumptions. So why should you avoid this?
Reason 1: You might be barking up the wrong tree
It is easy, especially if you are short on time, to jump to assumptions about what someone else is proposing. Sometimes the initial judgement will be right and sometimes it will be wrong. Check out your understanding by asking questions to clarify.
Reason 2: You are not a mind reader
Well you might have this talent but in reality most people do not. When someone brings an issue, challenge or opportunity to you, they will have a particular take on it. As the leader, your job is to understand the other person’s position and try to work with them to find a solution.
Reason 3: People will disengage
Let’s face it, if you are someone who has lots of enthusiasm and every time you propose something it does not get any air time, you will eventually give up. If you are the leader in this scenario, it is going to be difficult to achieve anything if people are disengaged.
Reason 4: It does not take much to check out understanding
Of course we are all busy and want to get things done. It might take a few minutes to check understanding. On the other hand, it could take hours to undo something that is not working. Invest the time to check understanding.
Reason 5: People will respect you more
If you are someone who gets a reputation for being someone who makes time for other people, engages and listens, people will respect you more. When you have respect, achieving success becomes much easier.
The Bottom Line
If you want to get the best results possible and keep others engaged, avoid making assumptions too early.
Duncan Brodie helps accountants and other professionals to become great leaders and realise their professional potential. You can sign up for his free audio e-course and other free resources here
Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 6,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.