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"We see the world not as it is but as we are?? or as we are conditioned to see it" - Steven Covey

Leaders make myriads of decisions daily. And we know that these decisions need to be made based on limited information. We calculate the risks, and we make a call.

One area that is particularly dangerous is the assumptions we make unconsciously. The unconsciousness of it creates weak and sometimes, even false platforms to base our decisions on. This risk can be lowered through the deepening of self and collective awareness.


Examine the decisions you make and the tasks you delegate. Ask yourself what you assumed the staff involved would think and how you expect them to behave.

For example, we treat others in accordance to what we assume the others' intentions are. As a leader, we may credit or discredit our team members based on these assumptions. Examining our own assumptions is an important practice of good leadership. It is a gateway to understanding ourselves better.

Remember the prominent management theorist Douglas McGregor who distinguished the two management style - X and Y based on the assumptions helped by managers about the motives of their staff? Here's a quick refresher:

"Positive Expectations help to produce Positive Outcomes."


In team meetings, it is valuable to help the team pause at key stages to examine the assumptions made. Just ask the question "What are we assuming here?" and as a team, examine what floats up. This exercise has amazing insights and value.

In conclusion, no time to examine your assumptions? As leaders, can you afford not to?

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Reach out to me if you would like to brainstorm pro-active ways to support your leaders in these challenging times. Happy to help!


I am #CoachWendyWong, passionate about helping talents optimize potential by building leadership skills creatively through coaching and training in Asia.

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