And the problem isn’t necessarily about whether events turn out the way that we expected or predicted. It’s not about whether we turn out to be right or wrong. The problem with jumping to conclusions is that it makes us lazy. It stops us checking whether we really understand the situation. It stops us taking the extra steps we could have taken to make sure that we get the outcome we want. And it stops us preparing for the unexpected.
In a time of change, all these things can have negative impacts.
To avoid those negative impacts we simply need to do four things:
- Check whether we are making any of the eight potential mis-blinks
- Consider what other interpretations might also be possible (and which are more likely)
- Get clearer on the outcome we want and why
- Take the actions necessary to achieve our upsides and manage our downsides
We might still be surprised. We might still end up doing the same things and the outcome might still be the same. But by not jumping to conclusions and by getting clearer on what we really want, we will increase our inspiration and enthusiasm, and we will give ourselves us a better chance of achieving the outcomes we want.
All this is another step towards becoming antifragile.
Have you ever jumped to a conclusion that turned out to be wrong? What were the consequences? Is it worth checking whether you are jumping to any conclusions now, about a person or a project?
Adapted from Inner Leadership: a framework and tools for building inspiration in times of change.
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(And remember: you don’t learn to swim by reading about swimming, you also have to practice.)