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The Power Of Assumptions


It was standing room only on the 109 tram, as it always is at five o’ clock on a Monday evening.

As more passengers boarded the crowded carriage, a man holding a briefcase got up from his seat to let the woman standing in the aisle next to him sit down. She declined. He persisted. She flatly refused. He insisted. There was a standoff. The man didn’t want to lose face. The woman didn’t want to appear weak.

The man assumed he was doing the right thing. And in ninety-nine out of a hundred situations, he was—just not this time for this woman. Once he committed to a course of action it was difficult for him to change tack. It’s never as easy to back down in the moment as we think it will be.

Our assumptions drive many of our business decisions. Those beliefs shape our business development, influencing strategy and tactics. It’s wise to check if those assumptions align with our customers’ desires before we commit to acting on them.

Image by Mr. Benben

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