Jump your Learning ...Don’t jump to Conclusions

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One outstanding power of the mind, is that it is Creative. It is able to fill in the blanks... and it is also able to ‘auto correct' and draw its own conclusions. The paradox... is that we often jump to the wrong conclusions, even before the other person has finished speaking.

 

The superficial message becomes apparent immediately. But as one re-reads, one discovers deeper meaning. Chinese Proverb

One outstanding power of the mind, is that it is Creative. It is able to fill in the blanks... and it is also able to ‘auto correct' and draw its own conclusions. The paradox... is that we often jump to the wrong conclusions, even before the other person has finished speaking.

 

The superficial message becomes apparent immediately. But as one re-reads, one discovers deeper meaning. Chinese Proverb

 

Consider the following conversation:

 

Boss: You are aware that the Board Meeting is tomorrow?

 

Employee: Yes Sir! It is my brother's Birthday tomorrow.

 

Boss: Please wish him for me.

 

Employee: Surely, Sir!

 

Boss (day after the meeting): You said you would be attending the meeting yesterday!

 

Employee: Sir, I told you it was my brother's Birthday.

 

Boss: You did, but you didn't say that you were taking the day off.

 

Employee: How did you expect me to wish him if I attended work... and you also asked me to wish him on your behalf....

 

As you can see... there are a lot of assumptions (jumping to conclusions) in the above dialogue.

 

FACT: Jumping to the first available conclusion precludes the possibility of arriving at any other conclusion.

 

What can we do to stop Jumping to Conclusions?

 

Here are some tips to help us learn and know more:

 

1.  MIND CONTROL.

 

Stopping your mind from filling in the blanks, is one of the most difficult of things to do. The mind, is like a chattering monkey that jumps from branch to branch... just waiting to connect with a thought... or an idea... and then elaborating on the thought, or connecting new thoughts to it. However, here are some factors that would vary the meaning of a message received:

 

1.  our experience

 

2.  our state of mind

 

3.  our understanding of the language

 

4.  the other person's ability to express an idea

 

5.  how close we are to (or how much we trust) the other person

 

2.  MEANING OF THE MESSAGE.

 

No two people will ever understand a message in the same way. This is true, even for identical twins, since their experience of the world is unique to each of the twins. Therefore, what the speaker is communicating is ‘coded' in his language, and you need to decipher the code, and uncover your own message. Asking questions, and listening with intent, will help you clarify how close you were to the original message that was spoken.

 

3.  CONFIRM WHAT YOU HEAR.

 

Paraphrasing (saying what you understood, in your own words) could confirm the message you heard, and make the message that much clearer. If you misread the message, the other person will surely clarify.

 

4. QUESTIONS and DEEPER UNDER-STANDING.

 

Asking Questions is an art-form that we should all master. But remember, the tone of voice when asking a question should also be friendly, and non-confrontational. When we speak to people who are higher up than we are... we are, understandably, nice and friendly. We should use the same tone even when we speak to peers or juniors. This increases our likeability, and builds better rapport. It also enhances understanding and trust.

 

FACT: Leaders who can avoid jumping to conclusions and can ask better questions always learn more and know more.

One of the best ways to persuade others is with your ears - by listening to them. Dean Rusk

5. SILENCE and MULTITASKING.

 

Since the mind works seven times faster than we can speak... it is always going to have spare processing time... and if we use this time to think of new questions, we will not only get a better understanding of the other person, but we will understand the patterns of our own thinking. Here are some questions that you could keep ready:

 

Could you give me an example....?

 

How often does this happen..?

 

Why do you think this happened?

 

What could we do to improve the situation?

 

Is there anything you want me to do?

 

Should we discuss this with anyone else?

 

Why is he thinking like this?

 

Am I being judgemental in this issue?

 

Am I drawing the right conclusions.... ?

 

6.  LISTEN, ANALYSE, LEARN.

 

As you can see from the above questions, we can improve our understanding of the people and the circumstances around us, by listening more effectively, and analysing and storing the information away, so that it is easier to retrieve in future.

 

Here are some wise words to help you understand how others see this issue:

 

One of the best ways to persuade others is with your ears - by listening to them. Dean Rusk

 

As 2008 draws to a close... amid terror attacks, communal tension, financial melt downs... here's wishing all you good BG readers.... better listening, better learning, better Networking!

 

Merry X Mas .....and and a healthier, friendlier, and happier 2009!

 
 

ian-faria-pd90Ian Faria. Corporate Trainer, Motivator and Success Coach. Feedback at :faria@a-pep.com

Issue BG93 Dec08

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