In the day to day use of common sense, a drastic difference exists between guessing and taking an educated guess. In the context of business success however, the difference matters less. Any form of assumption applied in business, more often than not, conveys negative connotations for the aspiring entrepreneur.
Assuming or guessing stems from failure to completely grasp a circumstance, and the natural reflex action of a person is to attempt to fill-in the gaps of information for the purpose of developing a clear picture. Now, this is one of the rarer scenarios where creativity is actually disadvantageous because the more creative you are, the more abstract and complicated the “filled-in” information becomes. Such a line of thinking could propel you or any aspiring entrepreneur into a potentially bad situation.
Yes, it is always cooler to be able to put the puzzle together and tell everybody you know how you did it a la Sherlock Holmes, but remember that life should stop being a popularity contest in high school. Never compromise credibility. It’s ultimately pointless. And if you’re still not convinced, try flipping the scenario around. How would you feel if people attempted to figure out what you’re thinking, only for them to erroneously put together a story? What do you think would happen and how would that make you feel? That is why good communication is essential.
The remedy to this situation is so deceptively mundane that it is easy to overlook – we simply need to carefully and meticulously ask people. As much as we would wish to have mind-reading powers like the mutants in X-Men, such an incredible power does not really exist in this universe. Yes, the scientific field of psychology has developed some mechanisms to compensate for this, but following such techniques isn’t as conclusive as simply asking away.
Even though it seems much more boring to simply ask a person to fill-in the blanks, it is also quite safer in terms of upholding quality and credibility. But if this were the case, why is it that we often neglect to do this? Well, why is it difficult for us to confront a significant other when we suspect them of infidelity? Because for some reason, our sense of tact naturally conveys it as a breach of trust. Whether it turns out to be true or not is irrelevant. The point is, we shouldn’t allow ourselves to feel this way. For any intrapersonal project to progress, a sense of transparency should always be maintained.
But this is not to say that assumption is totally irrelevant in every circumstance. It is useful for scientific research and many times for everyday life. But in business, its level of usefulness is diminished. Each member of a team should all be on point and in agreement, companies have to hear out their clients loud and clear. So save yourself from creating unnecessary stress and hindrances that don’t need to exist in the first place; shun your tendency to assume. Simply asking questions is the key for business success.
by: Jeffrey Slayter