Beware these 3 business limiting behaviours!

‘Don’t just assume’ — easier said than done. We are ‘assumption making machines’ and very susceptible to being caught in the assumption ‘traps’ placed by ourselves and others.

As a communication and presentation coach I hear statements like ‘I am useless at public speaking…. I just can’t get my message across because I am too quiet…. I always wind people up the wrong way — it’s just my way…. I just have a unpleasant voice and there is nothing I can do about it…’ etc etc

As an entrepreneur and business owner or leader or employee you will have found yourself walking away from opportunities due to a belief that either — it is not your skill — or — they are not the kind of people who will be interested in my thing…or — there has to be a way to make this work better — but I have tried everything I know…’

You are in the ‘assumption trap’ — and it is not a business expanding place to be!

Let’s dig a little deeper into 3 types of assumption traps.

‘When you assume you make and ASS out of ‘U’ and ME’

Think about these 3 limiting ‘assumption traps’

  • Assumptions about ourselves
  • Assumptions about others
  • Assumptions about how things work

1. Assumptions about ourselves

We are all prone to self-limiting belief​s and getting stuck in patterns formed way back in our development.

‘I can’t sing…’

‘I am no good with numbers…’

‘I am useless at small talk….’

‘I am just not one of those kind of people…(???)’

Go diving to check out the hidden part of your ‘iceberg’

“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” Carl Jung

What you believe can influence how you behave which influences your believes which….. etc.

What are those hidden triggers?

How to replace self-doubt with self-belief​​

2. Assumptions about others

Ah — one of those types of people

People from there always…

They are stuck up…

I used to know someone like that…

Just think for a moment about all the snap judgements you make about people — you are not a ‘bad’ person — it is unavoidable — it’’s the way are brains work.

There are some good reasons are brain takes shortcuts — it is very busy in our heads and sometimes for survival we need to base a judgement on past experience or general ‘received’ wisdom — no time for thinking!

However — there are so many occasions where these trigger reactions are not so conducive to relationship building with people who could potentially become an asset to our business — like a client or collaborator. We don’t have to be instant soul mates with people — but we do have to be open to having our snap assumptions overturned!

An essential part of building trust with rapport skills is — not making judgements and listening with an open curious mind.

Check out more on cognitive bias here — it is a long list

I really recommend listening to this podcast — a great piece of story telling which goes very much to heart of ‘assumptions’ — and included a brilliantly revealing experiment with clever and thick rats — I will say no more. The main story is about a completely blind man — who clicks and rides bikes… just listen!

3. Assumptions about how things work

Beware the limiting effects of sticking with the status quo — just because it has always been done one way doesn’t mean it is the right way now #disrupt

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What’s with the space scene?

There is a NASA related story that illustrates this third assumption trap really clearly. The story is told in a book called ‘Stop Playing Safe’ by Margie Warrell — well worth reading.

In the 1980’s, NASA challenged aerospace and defence company Lockheed Martin to cut, by several thousand kilograms, the weight of the huge fuel tank that formed the structural backbone of the space shuttle.

The effort stalled at the last 360 kilograms.

As the blue-ribbon engineering team turned its attention to increasingly exotic lightweight materials, one of the junior and less qualified line-workers suggested not painting the tank as a way to remove the extra weight. It seemed a bit too simple, and one can only assume there were a few PhD engineers whose initial response was to dismiss such a simple solution outright.

But as it turned out, the 760 litres of white paint that was to be used to cover the tank would have added close to 360 kilograms to a device whose lifespan in flight was about eight minutes and whose fate was to end up at the bottom of the Indian Ocean.

Such is the power of looking at a problem with new eyes and without old assumptions

By the way — if you are limiting your business growth by not getting out there and spreading your message due to a fear of public speaking…. don’t! Get in touch — nothing ventured, nothing gained.

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