KZN Business Chambers Council
KZN Business Sense


KZN Business Sense News

Back to overview


Grant Gavin - Assume Nothing Ever

Nothing in your life will hold you back or cause you more pain than the result of an incorrect assumption.

Regardless of the context, or whether the assumption is made in your personal life, or in a business environment, the problem for you and I is that we do this constantly.

The human mind has an amazing ability to lead itself to powerful conclusions, once you make an assumption, you convince yourself that this is now the gospel truth.

Making an assumption, and then believing the assumptionas truth is like making a decision without all the available information, and you know how dangerous it can be to take actions based on an unconfirmed truth.

How often have you made the mistake of relying on an assumption in your business environment, or in your personal relationships, that have ended up causing yourself (and others) so much pain and suffering?

You make assumptions for one of two reasons:
You assume something about a person or situation because of a past truth. You've experienced something similar before, and therefore you attach an assumed outcome based on your past experience. For example, "my client is not taking my call and therefore he is avoiding me and is not interested in my quote."
Alternatively, you make an assumption about a person or situation based on a projected response that you would give to the situation i.e. You're projecting your own understanding or value system onto another.
Either way, you're reacting to a lack of information by believing in an unconfirmed truth, and this can be incredibly destructive.

So how do you avoid making this mistake in the future?
Ask More Questions. When you don't know something, or are lacking enough information to clearly understand a situation, assume nothing. Rather, ask more questions. Don›t die wondering about anything.
The pain of asking the question is far less than the pain of not knowing the answer.

If you're waiting on an order, or you haven't heard back from a client, don't make assumptions as to why they've gone quiet. Rather, pick up the phone and communicate. Ask more questions, and uncover the objection or real reason why they're stalling.

The same goes for any personal relationship too. Before you take any reaction personally, ask questions and engage in communication to satisfy any issue that remains unclear in your mind. Some of the best relationships you will have are those where communication, founded on trust, is open and direct.
Be a more Attentive Listener.
People tell you so much more by their body language and actions, than by the words that come out of their mouths. Being an attentive listener requires that you are present in the moment, listening with your eyes, ears and mind. When listening attentively, you will be able to open up a conversation and drive it to a deeper level of understanding by not only mirroring what the other person is saying to you, but also by asking clarifying questions on anything you are unclear about.

You gain so much more from a conversation by listening than you do by talking.

By asking better questions and by listening more attentively, you will find that you will naturally need to make fewer assumptions. By making fewer assumptions, you will make better decisions in both your business and in your personal life.

Try it this month.

Grant Gavin is the Founder of the Durban Entrepreneurs Club, International Speaker, Business Coach and owner of RE/MAX Panache, the largest real estate company in the North Durban suburbs.

To sign up for his Sunday Startup weekly
email, visit

 Grant Gavin - Assume Nothing Ever.PNG
 Grant Gavin - Assume Nothing Ever.pdf

Back to overview