Shoutout to Trey Willard, a Mega Agent Team Owner of the W Group in Baton Rouge, for driving over to teach a class in our Fairhope office on how to get the most ROI from your Sphere of Influence. One of his power point slides was titled “Never Assume” and it got me thinking. Assumptions are dangerous and more often than not, they're our enemy.
As real estate agents, assumptions can cost us relationships and sales. In general, assumptions can be the catalyst for unfounded opinions or lead us down the wrong path. Regardless of the scenario, the cost of a poor assumption can be great and in some cases, immeasurable. What would my life look like if I had chosen to investigate every unknown or even a strong majority of vague details I have encountered along the way? Can an assumption not be a form of judgement? Shouldn’t we all come from a place of curiosity first, not judgement?
My assumptions, much like my vices, keep me from being the best version of myself. I need to take Trey’s advice. I need to commit to never assume anything which may have even the slightest potential for power in or over my life. I should never assume the sale, when I have been preaching to my agents for years to “always assume the sale.” When I have done so, I have always been referring to their swagger during a listing appointment. It occurs to me now that swagger can be dangerous in the absence of humility and a firm understanding of the facts.
I should never assume that the people I love know exactly how I feel. My inclination is to internalize things, when the lives of those I love and respect would be so much richer if I outwardly expressed my thoughts and feelings. Do I assume that my wife knows how much I love her or do I need to tell her more often? It is crystal clear to me as I reflect on it now, that I don’t tell her or my kids that I love them nearly enough. Now that I think about it, I could probably do a way better job expressing it through reaffirming actions, as well as affirmations.
I've been guilty of assuming that people know how much I appreciate them. Coach Jon Cheplak made me realize this stunning fact at an intimate mastermind he hosted in Cleveland. I'd been neglecting our Office Manager, Alison Ward. This amazing woman loves and respects #JWRE as if it were her own company, as if the agents were her own family, and yet, I could not recall one time that I had taken a break from the hustle long enough to simply acknowledge my appreciation for all she does to serve and protect our tribe. I had always just assumed that she knew how I felt. What if I hadn’t made it home safely from that trip? What if I did, yet chose to assume that she knew what my feelings were?
Assumptions lead to far too many questions than they do answers. Life is too fragile and too short not to have clarity. Assumptions are easy, and another valuable lesson I learned in 2017, is that taking the easier path often makes life harder than it has to be. Seeking first to understand is the more difficult choice but in the end it will make life easier, it will make my relationships richer, and it will help me to be a better person.
The key to consistently positive results is to inspect what you expect and do so from a place of curiosity and not judgment. When problems arise in both life and business, prior to rushing to judgment or looking for areas to place blame, we should first consider whether or not we made poor assumptions or failed to set proper expectations. We simply can't hold others or results accountable to our assumptions.
You should never assume. You know what happens when you assume. You make an ass out of you and me because that's how it's spelled.