How assumptions hinder your leadership effectiveness…

by | Sep 15, 2022

Where do assumptions come from?

Our natural wiring, life experiences, beliefs, values, and what we tell ourselves about our life experiences all play a role in assumptions we make about people and circumstances – often without us even realizing it.

They are our ‘filters’. These FILTERS affect how we view and approach the world and the people in it.

Two common FILTERS that often show up in leaders are the following…

#1 TRUST

A filter of trust often leads people to the assumption that those around them will do what they say, that the people they work with can be depended on, that people want to do their best.

While believing the best about people can be a key to positive relationships and effective teamwork, it can also lead to disappointed expectations when people don’t perform as you expect them to. This can lead to the next filter…

#2 SKEPTICISM

A filter of skepticism often leads people to the assumption that people can’t be trusted, that “if you want something done, you’ve got to do it yourself.” People with this filter typically want things to be proven before they will buy in and they tend to assume the worst.

While skepticism seems to be a way to protect yourself from a bad outcome, it’s not a great way to lead with innovation, creativity, and collaboration.

The truth is, we’ll always have a filter.

No matter the situation, we’ll have an internal (often subconscious) filter that impacts how we interpret what happens in our work and leadership.

But when we’re AWARE of what these filters, and how they influence and impact our relationships and results, we can intentionally manage them for a better outcome.

What filters do you notice in your own leadership? How do you manage them for a better outcome?