When we are children we test the world to find out how it works. We learn what happens when we drop our toy. We learn how people respond when we laugh or cry. And after the same pattern has repeated a few times we jump to the conclusion that that is how it is always going to be.
But in a time of change, the world won’t always work the way it used to.
Jumping to conclusions, without checking the facts, is one of eight common types of mistaken assumption we can easily make in a time of change.
Jumping to conclusions in a time of change can significantly reduce the chances of getting the outcomes we want. Our recent politics provides a long list of examples of things that have not turned out the way many people expected.
And the problem isn’t necessarily about whether we turn out to be right or wrong. The problem is that jumping to conclusions makes us lazy: it stops us doing the extra things we could have done to create the outcome we wanted or to prepare us better for what else might happen instead.
To avoid jumping to conclusions we simply need to:
- check whether we are making any of the eight potential mis-blinks
- consider what other interpretations might be possible and which are more likely
- get clearer on what outcome we want and why
- take new actions to address our upsides and our downsides
We might still end up doing the same things. The outcome might still be the same. But taking these steps will get us clearer on what we really want, it will increase our inspiration and enthusiasm, and it will gives us a better chance of achieving our goals.
It will be another step towards making us 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 about a person or project now?
Adapted from Inner Leadership: a framework and tools for building inspiration in times of change.
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