Approx 1.5 min read
If I had a superpower this would probably be it. For a while I was referred to as “Mr. Jump-To-Conclusions” in my inner circles. I blame my insatiable appetite for novels, especially those in the fantasy genre, for giving me the extraordinary ability to convert a few words into schemes and ideas that had nothing to do with the original intent… Fiction of the highest order. No wonder my communication skills had to develop, and fast! Otherwise I’d have probably jumped to my death (socially and otherwise).
So, since you’re talking to the master, the equivalent of Dr. Stranger’s Ancient One in this subject (lotsa love Tilda Swinton!) you must want to know how to avoid jumping to conclusions.
The first thing you have to master is to mean what you say and say only what you mean. That way those around you will know, “Oh when X (insert your name where X is) says this, that’s exactly what they mean so I should not make any added assumptions.” Don’t get into the habit of changing your mind all the time or having wishy washy principles. All the does is give people leeway to make decisions on your behalf, assuming they’re doing so with your interests at heart. The result is a lot of, “Well I thought… Based on…”
Secondly, one great way to avoid yourself or someone else jumping to conclusions is to provide clarity. When faced with something that leaves room for your imagination to wander I suggest going back to the person and using the phrase, “When you said this, did you mean…?” You’ll be surprised how often you may misinterpret what was originally said. Yes it is a slower means to get things across because it requires feedback from the other side of the conversation – but the clarity that comes with it saves a lot of time and frustration that would result from a misunderstanding, miscommunication or just plain jumping to conclusions.