In a previous post about personal growth for brands, I referenced the book The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. We can investigate the third agreement, “don’t make assumptions” by answering the following question: Why do we make assumptions in the first place?
A1: False Confidence.
Assumptions are often made on the foundation of a false confidence. We may have a false confidence if we previously worked on a similar brand, client, or project. Yes, we may know some truths about the audience, product, brand, or culture – which can help us relate – but we cannot make assumptions about the business, marketing, or communication objectives, until we have accurate, current information about this brand, client, or project.
Solution: Put previous knowledge and experience on the back burner and get current and accurate info.
Missing details can cause misperception. That’s the danger of assumptions. When we are confused sometimes we just fill in the blanks ourselves. We need to fill in the blanks by asking questions. We need to get the details and information. Then we can fill in the blanks with the correct answers. We get rid of confusion.
Solution: Fill in the blanks by asking questions.
A3: Changing variables.
Assumptions work when the variables are consistent. We live in an age where variables that change daily are changing slowly. Double-check the realities each time. Objectives may have changed. Market dynamics may have shifted. New trends have an impact.
Solution: Verify the factors that could impact your objective first.
When we don’t make assumptions, it means we are asking questions and listening.
When we are asking questions and listening, it means we are filling in the blanks with the correct answers.
When we are filling in the blanks with the correct answers, we set ourselves up to achieve our objective.