Why assumptions limit growth for both you and your company
To have workplace success, implementing trust in your team and testing assumptions is crucial. But what does that look like? It is working with and trusting your team in finding the best way to work relationally—efficiently and effectively—while also continually reassessing and making improvements as needed.
Regulating and understanding TRUST
Creating trust in an organization can be as simple as TRUST:
When we use this model as a roadmap, we can be aware of our mindset, intentions and impact. This puts us in our prefrontal cortex where we’re best suited to make the decisions and connections that move our companies forward.
Assumptions can hold back innovation
Assumptions are a natural component of workplace interactions. But what is an assumption? An assumption is a thought or a hunch based on our past experiences and our formed biases.
Here are some examples of common workplace assumptions:
- “This is the way it’s always been done, so why change it?”
- “Management doesn’t understand!”
- “Nobody ever listens, so why speak up?”
- “If someone has an issue, they will speak up, so I don’t have to ask their thoughts.”
If not constantly and consistently challenged, these types of assumptions can affect decision-making and stifle growth, not only on a personal level, but also on an organizational level.
Bridge the gap between Assumption and Reality
Part of steadily improving is to test our own assumptions as well as the assumptions of those around us. The goal of these tests is to figure out and define what are the real roadblocks and what can be overcome with change.
Asking questions is one way to gain insight on which hypotheses are limiting progress. An effective analysis of Scenario #1 listed above might involve the following questions:
- “Could this assumption be incorrect? Maybe there hasn’t been a better alternative suggested yet.”
- “Has the environment changed? What resources do you have available now?”
- “How has the situation changed? Are there new requirements that make this suggestion more relevant today?”
After acknowledging our assumptions, take action to implement change
At this point, you have identified some of the beliefs and expectations that might be holding you and your team back. Now is the time to push forward and overcome our limitations.
Work to answer these questions in order to succeed:
- “How are these assumptions limiting us?”
- “What should we do differently going forward? Identify two or three commitments to action.”
- “How will we hold ourselves accountable to these commitments?”
- “What can we do to continue to challenge future assumptions?”
With Test Assumptions concluding our Organizational Trust series, look out for more tips on building workplace trust by signing up for our newsletter.
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