“Take your shoes off when you enter a new place. You weren’t the first one there.”
~ Ellen Patnaude
Assumptions affect how we show up in new situations, meeting new people.
They also affect how we view others who are new to our “territory.”
Either scenario can cause complicated emotions and reactions because, well, it’s new. We’re not sure how to navigate because of that newness.
Remember the first day of school, in any grade? While you may have known some other kids, many go through changes over the summer. We don’t know what to expect exactly. It’s a new year.
Corporate environments aren’t much different. We may experience some of the same feelings and reactions to the new environment or situation.
And those feelings can lead to assumptions.
We may feel inadequate, causing our self-confidence to nosedive.
Emotions can swing in the opposite direction, too, and create overconfidence.
Sometimes that overconfidence veers dangerously into an attitude of superiority. We start behaving like we’re the first ones to have a good idea. That can cause a lot of damage in a new situation which can take years to undo.
We struggle with how to show up the way we ideally want to in new situations or with new people coming into our space because, well, again, it’s new. We don’t really know what to expect. Past experience might give us some ideas, but if it’s truly a new situation or group of people, strategies that have worked well in the past might not apply.
That’s the point. We don’t know. Which leads to Assumption Land.
Becoming aware of it is a huge step in the right direction. Practicing self-awareness, awareness of others, and remaining open are also great strategies. Think about why it’s important to you to show up a certain way. Your level of commitment to a certain outcome will dictate whether you can pull it off.