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  • Assumptions - I was right, until ...

    Henszey - August 26, 2014

    From working with clients, I know that making bad assumptions is one of the biggest challenges we face both at work and in our personal lives. The cost of wrong assumptions can be more than we're willing to absorb. If it won't take much time to test an assumption, by all means, take the opportunity!

    Then get ready for reality to slap you in the face. To illustrate, I offer the following autobiographical event.

    Driving towards Chicago from Indiana on the I-90 West tollway with my daughter a while back, we stumbled upon a McDonald's wedged in the median between six full-speed lanes of traffic. It seemed haphazardly designed by today's standards.

    Deciding to get coffee, I veered out of traffic and was funneled into a narrow one-way lane that circled around the building.

    Once on the other side, as I passed parked cars, I realized that the back half of the south parking area also served as the re-entry point for I-90 East traffic. If I parked in one of those spots, I'd be forced onto the road heading back to Indiana.

    Fortunately, I also saw that I could complete my circle around the restaurant if I took advantage of a small curving lane immediately in front of me. I found myself angled behind some one with the same idea, who was stuck waiting for another car angling towards us, going the wrong way. You know those situations where everyone is waiting and no one is acting? That was this. There we sat, all three of us.

    Taking action

    I patiently waited for the driver in front of me to pull forward, all the while blocking cars' progression behind me. After a minute of wondering what the problem was, and another minute bantering with my daughter about the situation, I decided to get out and talk to the driver, to ask where he ultimately wanted to end up. Then I thought I'd possibly talk to the third driver involved and we’d sort it out.


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