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A Contributing Factor to Miscommunication
By Amorah Ross MCC
MMC guest Master Coach 3/26/15 & blogger
Originally posted in Amorah's August 2015 Newsletter Adventures in Awareness
Over the last month or more, I've noticed that within each coaching conversation my clients and I were unraveling assumptions from facts related to the session’s topic area. As we traced each assumption backward and finally unearthed the simple facts, we were astonished by the different choices that became visible. With each conversation, I became more curious about my own ‘assumption habits’ and have been observing them with fascination.
A case in point: a couple of weeks ago I had a telephone interview with a potential client who had contacted me about coaching. During our conversation, I took notes as I typically do and wrapped up by asking when she would be making her choice of coach. She said she had some company arriving the next week and would make a decision by the end of that week. I asked her permission to contact her if I hadn’t heard back from her in that time, and she said, ‘yes’.
Putting a reminder on my computer to call her back in a week’s time, I set aside my notes and went about my other business. The day the reminder popped up, I made an unconscious assumption that if she hadn’t called me back by then she had probably hired another coach and perhaps felt awkward to let me know. Armed with that ‘conversation’ I decided NOT to follow up with her, yet my gut gave a wrench and wouldn’t settle down for the next day or so.
As often happens for me when I’m in curious self-observer mode, during my contemplations and musings I took note of my gut’s uneasy reactions, seeking what had 'disturbed my inner silence'. And, as ‘luck’ would have it, in going through some papers on my desk I uncovered my notes from that conversation. As I reviewed them, my heart was again touched as I read her reasons for seeking a coach, the dreams she wants to fulfill finally and remembered the earnest yearning in her voice. Not only that, as I saw my notation about contacting her, I felt ashamed that I had not followed through on a promise I made to her and myself – not my usual professionalism.
With that realization, I picked up the phone and called her, saying I was following through with her as I’d promised and was curious about where she was in her decision-making process. To my utter delight, she said her final step in making her decision was to see who of the coaches would follow up with her;j our coaching partnership begins after I return from vacation the end of next week. I’m very much looking forward to the opportunity to support her next steps toward birthing those precious dreams of hers. Needless to say, my gut has settled down now that an actual conversation took place rather than the 'illusionary conversation' my inner saboteur concocted in my head brain.
Because I simply can’t help myself, this has prompted even more curiosity within me about assumptions (mine and others) and the role they play in communication or miscommunication. As I move through my days over the coming weeks, I’m staying aware and practicing catching any assumptions earlier and earlier in their progression. I’m eagerly gaining the visceral awareness not only of when assumptions are being made but also taking notice of the impact of those assumptions on my mind, body and spirit.
Finally, I’m taking responsibility for making an assumption by starting with, “My assumption here is…”, Or, “I assume…” in my speaking and email. This verbal and written responsibility has supported clarity in several conversations recently, for which I’m grateful.
CONTINUING THIS ADVENTURE INTO AWARENESS
How about you - what role do assumptions play in your thinking and reactions to people and situations?
I invite you to consider this question and, as you do, notice what new awareness emerges from within you. And please remember to have FUN on that awareness adventure into the question, okay?
@Amorah Ross 2015
Amorah's work is to support her clients in bringing their soulful humanity out so that it serves as the guiding light for all that they do. Never again must their humanity get buried or compromised amid the often-conflicting demands of the various roles they inhabit day by day.
Passionate about celebrating human wholeness as our birthright, Amorah is a Transformative Coach for those who choose to show up in their careers and live their lives from their authentic core essence and beyond the limitations of traditional thinking.
Amoráh is an ICF Master Certified Coach, a certified Mentor Coach, and a seasoned coach trainer. A professional coach since 1997 and coach trainer/mentor coach since 1999, Amoráh also serves as an ICF credentialing assessor and on the ICF Global Standards Core Team. She served 3+ years on ICF’s Credentialing and Program Accreditation Committee, and was its Vice-Chair in 2010. Amoráh lives near Seattle with her husband of 45 years and their 2 miniature dachshunds.
Amorah co-authored the book Roadmap to Success: America’s Top Intellectual Minds Map Out Successful Business Strategies, a compilation of articles on strategies & tools for personal and professional success. She has also had published numerous articles on coaching.