“Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.”
― Isaac Asimov
Our tree rings, our cup, and our assumptive world impact our listening. We recently reviewed how our tree rings and our cup can impact our connections, but what about our assumptive world?.
Did You Know – Assumptive World
Do you remember the duck-rabbit story? Did you see a duck or a rabbit? Our assumptive world is the way we see things. BeFriender Ministry teaches it is the lens through which we view the world.
Used with Permission. © BeFriender Ministry-A Listening Presence. Bloomington, MN www.befrienderministry.org
Below, Shirley Taylor teaches us some ways to avoid making assumptions.
How can we avoid making assumptions?
• Be patient – What the speaker has to say is just as important as what you have to say.
• Listen carefully – You can’t hear another person if you are thinking about what you want to say
• Take notes – In a social connection taking notes on paper may not be appropriate, but you can take mental notes.
• Rephrase – State what you just heard the speaker say in your own words. Use this opportunity to ensure you haven’t made any assumptions about what the speaker means.
• Don’t interrupt – When the speaker stops talking, pause and reflect on what they just said before jumping in. Just because they paused, doesn’t mean they are finished talking.
© Shirley Taylor.
When you prepare to make your next connection make sure your tree rings, cup and assumptive world don’t get in the way of listening. Mentally recall what you learned in class before you begin a visit so that you can be fully present during your Kin connections.
Checking assumptions throughout our Kin visits is vital. It is key to building trust and a strong relationship with our Kin.
Phillip Patston shares a scenario where he made an assumption about someone he just met. He goes on to share how that assumption impacted his communication with the individual. Consider using Phillip’s story as a launching pad for group discussion on assumptions.
We all do it. See someone new and, within seconds, our brains start making up stories about them. Or we meet them, exchange a few words and before we know it, we’re filling in the gaps with our imaginations. The result? Assumptions.
I did it recently…