In all business relationships we are always at a choice point, to assume and blame or tell the truth about how we are feeling and what we need.
When you see your staff member texting during a meeting, or your client is running late or you didn’t get the response back you expected from a customer, before you assume anything ask yourself:
1. Do I have the facts and am I making an unfound assumption?
2. Do I want to win and prove my point that my assumption is right, or do I want to develop a deeper connection and have a better result to him/her by asking versus assuming?
Rather than interpret, misperceive, or guess what someone else is up to, simply share your inner experience and ask questions.
We all tend to create stories in our heads that are full of assumptions about our clients and staff’s behavior. These stories often have little to do with reality and usually make us very sad, angry and/or scared. We then react to these unhappy stories with a “fight or flight” response and either attack, blame, or pull away. This leads to an escalation of problems instead of resolution. Even the healthiest of business relationships hit rough spots on occasion and of course there are times that our instincts are correct and we should listen to our gut always, but once again, asking versus assuming can save you a lot of stress and grief. What makes for a healthy business relationship is not the absence of challenges, but executives and teams who are committed to tell truth and work through assumptions that naturally arise.