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Succeed At Work
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Watch Out For Those Big Assumptions

What assumptions are you making? What will you do to challenge them?

Sometimes the assumptions you make get in your way. Here’s an example:

The word polk is pronounced _____.

The word folk is pronounced _____.

The white of an egg is pronounced _____.

The first 2 blanks set you up to make an assumption—to think a certain way. If you said “yolk” you were allowing an assumption to cloud your thinking.

Assumptions: 

  • Influence your behaviour and emotions
  • Can be incorrect
  • Can be self-defeating
  • Are to be constantly challenged

Cara’s co-worker is not very communicative or friendly.

Cara could assume:
  • She’s done something to upset her co-worker.
  • Her co-worker is a jerk.
Or Cara could challenge her assumptions and:
  • Realize there’s no law saying her co-worker has to be her friend
  • Stop feeling guilty or hostile and instead cultivate positive relationships with her other co-workers

Jamal’s biology teacher is not wildly enthusiastic that he has finally started handing in his homework assignments.

Jamal could assume:
  • He’s wasting his time doing the work.
  • His teacher doesn’t support his efforts.
Or Jamal could challenge his assumptions and:
  • Realize it would be nice if his teacher showed some enthusiasm but it isn’t required
  • Keep doing the work so he stays in control of his own learning and reaches his goals
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