Presume but don’t assume! Presumption is the sign of a wise whereas assumption is the trait of an ignorant. The power of a good comprehension should not be adulterated by assumptions.
We presume something when we are completely aware of the truth and the underlying evidence which help us make a decision but assuming something without knowing the details and the root cause can be a real communication killer. The latter has the potential to bring some serious pitfalls in communication and can further introduce misconceptions. The way addressing is an art so is comprehending. Both takes its own share of efforts and tricks. There is a very thin line between a speaker and a listener which mainly focuses on the matter being addressed and comprehended. Facts that are incorrectly addressed proves to be more direful than being not addressed at all. Nowadays people have a weird habit of addressing half truth. Usually 30 percent is truth and rest 70 percent is a cock and bull story which eventually makes people assume more and more thereby the originality lacks and the real message is not conveyed.
I’m sure most of us have played the game called Chinese whispers where listening skills become so integral part of the game. Many of us have played the game at workplace as part of value added workshops conducted in the offices. It’s usually played between a large group of people and as it progresses the message which was started with the first person is passed to their immediate neighbor and by the time it comes to the last person, it has already taken a new form, words had already been broken, dismantled and the real meaning is lost. Here, mistakes done are evident because many don’t listen and secondly they make another mistake of assuming the words even though they get the chance to hear the message as many times as they want. Nevertheless, mistakes can be understood in case the message is really long but despite in real day-to-day scenario, people don’t want to hear but assume even if the matter or a subject is trivial or not. May be this is the reason I believe corporate places conduct such sessions for their employees and indeed it becomes so apparent that the strategists know the mistakes of a layman so well and the stakes of a bad communication within a team which can further tarnish the reputation of a company before their clients and within their own group of employees.
At workplace people learn, collaborate and communicate but why this doesn’t happen outside the workplace. Why ‘we’ turns into ‘I’ the moment people step out of their offices. Human being is a social animal so collaboration and communication becomes a daily affair for his day-to-day business whether it’s happening among co-workers, friends or family. So it’s so much important to have effective communication free from any kind of needless assumptions. I can remember and share endless such accounts where assumptions gave way to pandemonium at workplace and other social gatherings, somewhere message was not conveyed properly and somewhere even though conveyed but the listener could not interpret it so well. This further proves five things ie to speak coherently, listen deliberately, do not assume or be passive and interpret or comprehend the real message. Again interpretation can be both positive and negative. If a person is comprehending a positive message as a negative or vice a versa, then probably he is applying his own set of assumptions. Literally, a positive message will sound a positive one and a negative message as a negative one unless there’s some sort of diplomacy, sarcasm and criticism been involved or any social media snags like WhatsApp. The worst mistake which people tend to make is to take sarcasm to heart which prompts them to make assumptions.
Moreover, the communication channels need to be chosen wisely while we assure our message conveyed is effective and not assumed by extrapolating unnecessarily. Social media apps were built to make communication more easy and fast so that message could be addressed to farther distance in no time and of course it was a big leap in technology. However, in this world everything comes with its own set of pros and cons. On one hand such apps are used to make communication fast and on the other hand it also brings confusion and makes people live in delusion when their messages are misinterpreted. But when people interact face to face there are least chances of miscommunication which on contrary makes it more difficult when our so-called, ‘assumptions’ are applied and listening skills are put to test.
Hope I conveyed the message very well 🙂
Until stay tuned for my next post. Take care friends and don’t forget not to assume 🙂
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