Assumptions. They are a fast track to self-deception, miscommunications, and misunderstandings. In coaching, assumptions eclipse our efficacy.
Practicing how to deliver factual observations versus an evaluation of something is a powerful way to nip assumptions in the bud. It can be easier said than done though. We think in evaluative language, and communicating through evaluations is the default way for most.
Certified Life Coach, Fanie Zis, wrote a great overview of how assumptions show up in coaching, and how to avoid assumptions, so that we can be more present to our client's needs.
“Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.” ― Isaac Asimov
"Assumptions are everywhere, and we use them every day. Our brains are hardwired to assume – it saves energy so that our brain can focus on other areas it deems more important for our survival.
"We make assumptions at both a conscious and subconscious level about both our inner and outer world. Our types of assumptions can range from our perception of how the world works (e.g., you may assume the sun will rise tomorrow and then assume you live to see it), about people (you may assume that someone may react a certain way in a given situation) and assumptions about ourselves.
"But what happens when you make assumptions in your coaching sessions? How does this affect the coaching relationship and what can you do about it?"
This article will look at the use and potential dangers of assumptions in coaching. We’ll explore some examples of common assumptions as well as strategies to help you work on reducing their use in your coaching sessions."
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By Laurel Elders, PCC
IICT Founder / Senior Faculty