We’ve all heard the adage about assumptions. It makes an—well, you get the point. Recently I was part of a meeting that included a client and his employee. While I sat back and watched the two of them dispute over minute details, I could see both of their sides. They, however could not. Which lead me to ponder assumptions and the employee’s worth.
As I sat listening to this conflict between the employee and the employer, I learned rather quickly that their assumptions, on both sides of the conversation, were incorrect. Yet, they were not hearing the other’s valid points. The employer had a certain viewpoint and was looking at it from a risk standpoint. Meanwhile, the employee was looking at it from a reward standpoint. Both individuals had very similar, good ideas and reasons to be somewhat worried. Nonetheless, once they were both able to lay it all out on the table to each other, they quickly realized the assumptions they were making about the other’s point of view were not accurate. That helped to defuse the situation almost instantly.
Many times as business owners, I know at least for me, we genuinely care about our employees. We know the responsibility we are taking on when we hire someone. Of course, there is always one that breaks the mold and turns out to be a jerk of employer. We’ve all heard of that employer; however, most business owners know the responsibility they are taking on when they commit to feeding another person’s family with the revenue they and their team are going to generate. I personally have been going through this process in my own company lately. I don’t take hiring someone lightly. I want the best person for the job, not just a warm body to fill a seat, and I know that most business owners are like me in this area.
In the business world, as employers, you know we make assumptions about market conditions; we make assumptions about risk; we make assumptions about products; we make assumption after assumption. The life of a business owner is about making educated guesses every day. It is kind of like trying to throw a dart backward and hit the bulls-eye. Sometimes we hit it and other times we may study it for a while before throwing the dart. And sometimes we cross our fingers and throw knowing we can make adjustments with the next throw.
My challenge to all the business owners is you whenever you run into a situation where you have a conflict with an employee, take a look at what is being said for the assumptions. See if you are assuming things that the other party doesn’t necessarily mean; and if you’re the employee – vice versa. As an employer, value your employees in these situations where they are just putting their cards on the table and see if you were approaching it from the same point-of-view. When assumptions are added to the mix, it’s never good.