Byron's Babbles

Assumptions Are Dangerous

Posted in Educational Leadership, Global Leadership, Leadership, Leadership Development by Dr. Byron L. Ernest on March 1, 2023

I love the television show FBI International. It’s even better when it’s a new episode and I am able to be home to watch it. Carter Redwood plays Special Agent Andre Raines who in the episode I was watching was comforting the son of a kidnapping victim. Raines told the son, who was jumping to the conclusion that his father was dead that, “Assumptions are dangerous. They are made without evidence.” A good reminder that we are just assuming if we don’t have any evidence. Making assumptions is dangerous. We need to look for the evidence. But when we make assumptions it makes it hard to change our minds, even with evidence.

Unfortunately, assumptions underlie many of our biases as humans. Our minds naturally jump to conclusions and make meaning. The great leaders, as Special Agent Raines reminded us, look to the evidence to tell the story. Assumptions lead to ineffective behavior, unnecessary worry, or reactionary responses. These behaviors can lead to cycles of assumption to reaction to assumption. A good way to fight our urge to jump to assumptions is to take an attitude of inquiry. Instead of guessing, ask. Instead of assuming, look for and find the evidence. Oh, by the way, the boys father was found and was alive.


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