Alan Alda has a much more eloquent way of talking about assumptions than my “assumptions are the mother of all fuck-ups”.
However you look at them, assumptions can really hold you back and keep you stuck.
- Are you scared about putting your rates up? What assumptions are you making about what will happen if you put your rates up?
- Are you worried about looking for a new job? What assumptions are you making about the jobs market?
- Are you overwhelmed with work and don’t want to pass some of the work to your team?
How can you work through your assumptions and, as Alan says here, “scrub them off every once in a while”.
Got some paper and a pen?
1. Name your fear, concern or situation that you’re worried about or stuck on.
2. What are you assuming about what you’ve written down in step 1?
3. What does the opposite of your assumption look like?
4. If you don’t make that assumption, what would change or be different?
Here’s an example:
1. I’m worried that, when I tell them my rate, my prospect will say no.
2. I’m assuming that my rates are too high and that my prospect can’t afford it.
3. My rates are not too high for this particular prospect and they can afford it.
4. I will actually make that sales call/meeting/proposal and tell them my rates and the decision is them over to them. I’ve made an interesting connection whether or not they accept.
Of course, in that example, the perfect step 4 is “I tell them my rate and they say yes” but you also need to be open to gaining from the call or meeting no matter what they answer – that’s where being curious about other people comes in as it’s a win-win for you.
What do you think about this process (that comes originally from Nancy Kline and her Thinking Environment). How could you use these steps this week with something that you’re stuck/fearful/worried about? Comment below and let me know as I’m always curious about you too :)
BTW I met Alan Alda a long time ago – you couldn’t meet a more eloquent gent :)