Monday, May 10, 2010

Check Your Assumptions at the Door, Please

We all make assumptions, and use them regularly. It’s one of the ways we speed up our internal decision making process, and how we humans cope. They can be helpful.

But when conflict enters the room, sits down with a scowl on its face, and crosses it’s arms, you might want to think twice about some of your assumptions. Many of us know the old joke, to “ass-u-me” makes an ass of you and me. We may try to guard against it, but it’s often difficult.

In situations of conflict, commonly the lines of communication are already tattered and strained. In this setting, assumptions can be toxic.

Good mediators know this. They use their honed listening skills to recognize and understand assumptions that may be particularly damaging to the parties involved. They may ask probing questions designed to illuminate false impressions that they perceive, or they may want to talk about some background issues the parties would have never realized were relevant. These are among the many ways they may assist you in resolving your conflict.

Please let Tucson Mediates know how we can be of assistance to you.

M. J. McLeroy (6) 5/10/10. See more about M. J. McLeroy and TucsonMediates at

No comments:

Post a Comment