Making Assumptions-Why do we care what others think about Jay Cutler?

If you are a living, breathing member of the human race in the USA you have probably heard something about Jay Cutler Jay Cutler took more hits after the game than during it. (AP)

and his injury during the NFC Championship game versus the Green Bay Packers last Sunday.  Seeing players get injured is nothing new, but seeing the feeding frenzy that took place after the injury and in the  hours after the game bordered on being ridiculous, especially when you see just what our media considers “expert opinion.”  Several players such as Maurice Jones-Drew, Darnell Dockett, Derrick Brooks and Deion Sanders all chose to exercise their thumbs on Twitter or open their mouths when there was a microphone or camera within their reach.  Time has shown that the extent of Cutler’s injury was indeed serious and that many “jumped to conclusions” without all of the facts.

Many times we have similar feeding frenzies in the workplace.  We have all seen this.  An employee is not able to do something or comes up short in a project or delivers something other than what we thought was appropriate.  During the tough times we see just who our allies are and who the “fair weather fans” are.  It is no different than the gridiron.

When we have co-workers who miss the  mark, just how do we react?  Do we rush to conclusions without getting all of the facts?  Do we rush to Twitter to make sure we reach our audience or do we start a rumor mill of misinformation about our cohort?

People are very quick to rush to conclusions without all of the facts.  It just happens, and it is really painful and embarrassing when we have to backtrack and retract what we first said, especially if there are others present when we first share our assumptions.

http://espn.go.com/videohub/player/embed.swf

Here are just a few handy guidelines you  might consider before pronouncing judgment on a co-worker.  Just remember what happens when you assume-it happens.

  1. Check with others to see if they saw or heard the same things you think you saw or heard about a situation?  Our eyes and ears can sometimes play games or distort our perception.
  2. Don’t rush to judgment.  Take some time to digest what has really happened and then consider how to take action.          Odds are that sleeping on a situation  will drastically change how you feel.
  3. Share your thoughts directly with the person and don’t feel compelled to broadcast your initial findings without doing due diligence.  Feedback of the negative kind is best shared in private.  Put yourself in the other person’s shoes-how would you want the message to be delivered?
  4. Talk about outcomes and facts, not your opinions or perceptions.  Be like Jack Webb in Dragnet; “Just the facts!”

If you follow these four simple guidelines I believe your diet will have a significantly less amount of “humble pie” on the menu.

It is always easier to retract a thought when it has not been spoken or written.

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About Dan Ryan

Ryan Search & Consulting provides Retained Executive Search, Leadership Consulting and Recruitment Process Outsourcing in the markets of Architecture, Engineering, Construction, Manufacturing Healthcare, Life Science and Economic Development. Come learn more about our firm at http://ryansearch.net
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