Last week was a milestone for me — 151 blog posts to date.  Cue noisemakers, confetti, and applause!!

May I openly admit that I’m quite impressed by that number? In celebration I am sharing the TOP 5 MOST POPULAR blogs throughout the month. This week – #5: Don’t Assume. (Click here to watch a video of this post.)


We have all likely heard the adage “When you assume, it makes an A@@ out of U and ME.” 

Ouch! That sounds harsh!

Let’s just say that when we assume, we sort of communicate, BUT often fail to understand. Think of the times you were misunderstood because someone else made assumptions about your message: a point you made in a meeting, a question you asked to your boss, something you told your child to do, or an opinion you expressed. It is frustrating, isn’t it!?

Assumptions stem from our own perspectives, experiences, values, etc.; therefore, we don’t come at communication from the same direction as the other person. You may innocently tell someone how impressed you were with their work, and their reaction is “What!?  So, my work ISN’T usually impressive?”  They assume you are shocked or surprised that they actually did great work when that isn’t what you meant at all.

It is no wonder misunderstandings happen when we make the mistake of assuming the meaning of someone’s message is the same as ours.


Ask ONE, just one little clarifying question, to make sure that what you believe is being said is what the other person truly means. And ask that one little clarifying question BEFORE you respond.  And before you do that, BE MINDFUL so that you are fully present to receive the other person’s message.

Here are some examples of questions to illustrate what I mean:

Example 1: What I am hearing you say is …. Is that correct?

Example 2: If I understand, you mean …. Right?

Example 3: Do you mean …?

Example 4: I think I understand.  Is it …?

See you next week for #4!