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#30: Being aware of your assumptions enables greater leadership, communication, and connection with Dr. Eric Bean

Being aware of your assumptions enables greater leadership, communication, and connection with Dr. Eric Bean


Eric Bean HeadshotCan you think of a time when you jump to conclusions and imagine all the worst-case scenarios even before they happened? Well, that, my friend, is part of making assumptions.

If you want to be an effective leader, you must learn how to stop making assumptions. Otherwise, you risk harming your credibility and workplace relationships. Issues come up when a leaders responds to a situation in the absence of sufficient knowledge – particularly when emotions are high. Similarly, expectations are typically fueled by an emotion and when that expectation is not met, we feel let down. When we set goals, we provide time to develop strategy and execution plans to achieve them instead of having unrealistic expectations that are thoughtlessly assessed in the moment.

In today’s podcast, you’ll learn how to address three meaningful topics to enhance your leadership. Dr. Eric Bean discusses (1) how to avoid treating assumptions as facts, (2) how to understand the difference between expectations and goals, and (3) how to remove or limit judgements.

The story of the Chinese farmer by Alan Watts serves as a reminder that we live in a complex world. And when we can withhold from making immediate judgments about our experiences, challenge our assumptions, manage expectations, and be open to reality, we can find greater inner peace and be more in the flow of life.

Key Points:

  1. Get clarity that you’re making an assumption and then challenge it by asking questions.
  2. Embracing the practice of letting go of expectations.
  3. Move past the rejection of reality to a place of acceptance.

Episode Highlights

  • [0:15] Unraveling the dangers of assumption
  • [1:15] The story of a Chinese Farmer
  • [2:13] The whole process of nature is an integrated process of immense complexity, and it’s tough to tell if the consequences result to good or bad
  • [2:40] The practice of removing judgments in one’s life
  • [3:31] The three elements that are core to Eric’s coaching approach (1) Don’t make assumptions, (2) Understand the difference between expectations and goals, (3) The three possible responses to what happens in life
  • [3:49] The idea of making no assumptions 
  • [7:10] You have to recognize that you don’t have to believe every thought that comes into your mind
  • [8:18] Not treating our automatic assumptions as data or as truth
  • [8:31] Understanding the difference between expectations and goals
  • [10:21] Expectations should happen, but goals are the target
  • [11:43] Three ways to respond to reality: Reject it, Accept it, or Appreciate it
  • [12:31] Acceptance is simply acknowledging what happened

Resources Mentioned:

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