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Bad Assumptions Cause Bad Decisions

Today’s tip is all about the major cause of mistakes, poor decisions and bad choices. The main cause of these issues is the continuing use of bad assumptions. I have never seen or heard of a bad choice without a corresponding errant or bad assumption.

Even Peter Drucker, the Master of Management during the 20th Century, stated in his book the Effective Executive:

“Errant Assumptions are the Root Cause of All Poor Decisions.”

So not being an individual who blindly follows anyone – I tested this statement with others over a period of years. Even testing my own poor decisions. So it came as no surprise when I found it be true.

So what does this mean for you and me? Well, it means we need to question our own assumptions before we act on them. Now, I know it would be difficult to test every little decision or choice we make. However, it would do you well to check assumptions regarding any major decisions before acting. It helps to make better decisions and choices if we want to get ahead in business (and life).

Test your assumptions to insure they are accurate. An recent example of a bad assumption at our office was the selection of a brochure file for a recent mailing. Without checking and only assuming it was the correct file, it got printed and mailed to clients! Big mistake, since the file was the “draft” version with major typos. So now we have to do a second mailing with an apology for the mistake to our valued clients.

So you see there many types of assumptions made – some are costly and some are not. However, the best course of action is to test or verify your assumptions rather than take an assumption at face value and launch into action.