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Leadership Thought #304 – Be Wary Of Making Assumptions And Jumping to Quick Conclusions


We all know the danger of rushing to quick judgments or making false assumptions about things, but we continue to do it anyway.  I’ve heard many speakers talk about the reptilian portion of our brain that is focused solely on survival and keeping us out of harms way.  In essence, we are hardwired for self-protection.  However, in a world where our day to day survival is rarely in question, we need to be careful about allowing the most primal part of our thought process to have too much control.  A knee jerk or gut reaction to stimuli is often not a wise strategy and can actually end up being problematic.

Thinking can be hard work. It requires effort and a willingness to fight situational impulses.  At a time when our brain just wants to deal with the instantaneous reality of the here and now, we are asking it to slow down and consider multiple alternatives and use a contextual filter.    As a leader you have to continually challenge your own assumptions and be open to new ideas.   You also need to solicit sometimes contrary feedback and view things from many different angles.  Too many people practice the “ready, shoot, aim” approach to decision making. Being proactive doesn’t mean being irresponsible.   You may be trying to hit a moving target and your focus will have to adjust accordingly.

We all reach a point in our careers and lives where we become more confident in our own experience and judgment.  Some of us get to this point far too soon and end up learning some pretty hard lessons along the way.    There is nothing wrong with self-confidence; however I believe that truly confident leaders are willing to admit what they don’t know.   They also actively seek the advice and counsel of others to supplement their own perspective.  Success requires thoughtful action.  Greatness doesn’t happen in a vacuum.   If you are right, then your conclusions and decisions will stand the test of scrutiny and differing opinions.   Confidence in your own opinion is not a bad thing unless it taps into unnecessary fears, is a result of lazy or misinformed thinking or shrouds a lack of relevant experience.  Be wary of jumping to quick conclusions and making rash assumptions…

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  1. [...] Leadership Thought #304 – Be Wary Of Making Assumptions And Jumping to Quick Conclusions (edrobinson.wordpress.com) [...]

  2. […] Leadership Thought #304 – Be Wary Of Making Assumptions And Jumping to Quick Conclusions (edrobinson.wordpress.com) […]

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