by Karen D. Swim
As a teen I often quoted the familiar phrase "a-s-s-u-m-e makes an a** out out of you(u) and me." I have no idea where the turn of phrase originated or even why I said it so much, but as an adult I still fancy the simple message. Assumption can be good or bad. Being taking up into heaven is the good kind of assumption. Assuming power can also be good. If anyone wanted to assume my financial obligations well that would rock too. Assumption is bad when it is arrogant and pretentious.
I had a boss once who screened potential sales candidates by driving by their homes. If they lived in an apartment, she would not hire them. If they lived in a home that was "not nice" or in a "bad neighborhood" she also would not hire them. Her logic being that a successful sales person would own their own home in a "nice" neighborhood with acceptable curb appeal. Would you agree with my former boss?
“If we worked on the assumption that what is accepted as true really is true, then there would be little hope for advance.”-- Orville WrightThe human race is diverse. There are cultural, gender, generational and individual differences. It is risky to assume facts not in evidence. Assumptions can hinder your personal growth, relationships and even impact your professional life. We must be willing to look past the top layer to discover the complexities that lie beneath. We are cheating ourselves and others if we hold on to a narrow world view where we expect everyone to be just like us.
How can making assumptions about the actions and comments of others affect the facilitation of a group? What are the cultural implications?
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