……at sea because people assumed things. It was assumed the boat would go in a certain direction and therefore it would avoid the rocks nearby. It was assumed that the ship would be strong enough to withstand the storm ahead. Such assumptions and many more can lead to all kinds of disastrous consequences if they prove to be false. Jack Phillips, the wireless operator on the Titanic famously assumed that a message from another ship in the area that there were icebergs around was unimportant. He found the message bothersome because he was dealing with other messages.
Furthermore on a lesser scale relationships can be damaged through assumptions being made. A married couple might make assumptions about how each is spending their money. If this results in an overspend or a resentment of how the money has been spent, the marriage can be harmed. And when this is taken into relationships in an organisation then all kinds of difficulties can arise. That organisation is then left functioning in a sub-optimal way because assumptions were made which led to fractured relationships. So in a church people assume others will do a certain activity without checking. As a result the whole undertaking can be messed up and fall-outs result.
In all this two things are vital:
Examination: Try and avoid making assumptions. Make sure that you examine the whole situation and determine what is the appropriate action to take. Don’t just assume things. There are times when assumptions have to be made, but the implications of those assumptions need to be considered. Assumptions can be particularly dangerous when you assume a certain course of action will lead to a certain outcome without giving full consideration to whether that is reasonable or not. In case of any doubt then be careful to check whether you have assumed correctly or not. Unnecessary assumptions are sometimes made through laziness.. This is unacceptable; do the necessary work so as to limit assumptions.
Communication: Fully communicate what assumptions you are making so that all involved know what you are assuming in a situation. It is good to be overly cautious as well. You may assume that someone will act in a certain way, but it is always best to check your assumption. Failure to do this may be disastrous if the person sees another course as appropriate. And continually be checking if your assumptions are correct so that matters can move forward in a harmonious fashion and there are no misunderstandings
In all this it is better to be safe than sorry. And it is better to over-communicate than under-communicate.