Are you ever guilty of leaping to conclusions? Are your leapt-to conclusions ever wrong?
It is a natural instinct to be reactive, most often when something negative happens. Our adrenaline starts pumping, our heart starts hammering, and rational thought seems to fly out the nearest window.
Perhaps this isn’t the best way to handle bad situations.
How about trying some good pieces of advice my mother told me:
- Count to ten before saying anything.
- If you want to put something in writing, compose it now and HOLD IT FOR 24 HOURS. Sleep on it, and revisit the next day. If you still want to send it, go ahead.
People rarely get in trouble by not saying something, and conversely will often find themselves in a mess if they speak out too soon.
As an example, one of my coworkers arranged to manufacture for a new client a MASSIVE number of specialized “mood changing” printed plastic tumblers that change colors when held. These were expensive and time sensitive. When we began the quality control assessment, she discovered that the tumblers were not clear as ordered, but a multitude of colors.
“Oh my god!” she thought, “I have 22,000 incorrect, specially printed tumblers, and they are due tomorrow!” Immediately, she got on the phone to find out what had gone wrong. After speaking with someone in manufacturing, she realized that the tumblers were colorful because of the temperature outside! Once they became room temperature, they reverted back to their specified “clear” state.
If my coworker had gathered her thoughts and considered for a moment or two, she probably would have either figured it out for herself, or seen with her own eyes the tumblers changing back to clear.
She might have 1 less gray hair and one less person in manufacturing thinking, “Wow.”
Just think of the main character in Led Zeppelin’s famous song, “Fool in the Rain.” Poor man, standing out in the rain, waiting to meet his new beloved who seems to be a no-show. Agonizing, why, why, why don’t you love me?? Only to realize that he was waiting on the wrong block.
Don’t jump to conclusions, take a measured moment to consider, gather yourself and martial your resources. Then, you will be in a much better position to handle many of life’s challenges.
That is a great story! Similarly, so called “Transition” glasses that turn dark in the sun were discovered completely by accident as part of a failed experiment to create a new kind of reading glasses at Owens Corning. The engineers were required to go before a panel to talk about what happened but when they opened the manila envelope containing the glass, they had turned clear. As they talked about the experiment, they noticed that the glass was getting darker so they put it back in the envelope and, voila, it happened again. Some failure!!!
I, unfortunately, have to admit I am guilty of this much too often….. However, less often then when I was 20 years younger 🙂 I guess some progress is being made. I have an un-scientific theory that the propensity to jump to conclusions could vary depending on socioeconomic factors, as well as age and gender. It would be an interesting study! None-the-less, this was a great blog post and timely, since one of my co-workers completely lost it in a management meeting just two days ago…YIKES!