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12 Assumptions Slowing Down Your Performance (And How EI Can Come To Your Rescue) – I

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Dr. Abiola Salami

It is said that assumption is the lowest level of intelligence because greatness is anything but accidental; it is intentional and deliberate. Assumptions can be used as placeholders pending the arrival of empirical data. In the marketplace, sustainable growth cannot be a result of assumptions because scare resources would then be used on a trial and error basis instead of an objective and scientific approach which sufficiently explains the different relationships amongst the variables at play. Assumption in itself is an indictment on both self-leadership and organizational leadership because it underscores the lack of investment in personal development as well as research and development.

Emotional intelligence therefore becomes a critical antidote to assumptions because it literally operates on intelligence. Emotional intelligence empowers a people and by extension, the organization with awareness of themselves first because without that, nothing else can really be achieved. It follows the iconic submission of famed Greek philosopher, Socrates, “man know thyself”. Unsurprisingly, there is a direct correlation between knowing oneself and knowing what one can do. Thus, assumptions can cripple a person or organization’s output, thankfully, emotional intelligence can come to the rescue.

As we host leaders across the globe to drive transformational leadership with The Magic of Emotional IntelligenceTM in Mombasa, Kenya from June 23rd – 29th 2024, we present to you in the next 3 episodes, 12 Assumptions slowing down your performance and how emotional intelligence can come to your rescue. 

Assumption #1 – More Meetings Are A Sign Of Productivity

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The key word here is productivity, not activity. Many organizations erroneously believe that when team members meet to discuss ideas or tasks more regularly, it automatically equates more productivity – it doesn’t exactly work that way. A meeting, especially the first, is designed to deconstruct an idea not only to understandable bits but also to assign those bits to the appropriate personnel or departments. The time meetings consume is actually a cost especially when it is not offset by positive returns. Whilst periodic meetings are great for reiterating ideas and team bonding but it should never be seen as a key performance indicator because many meetings only repeat previous talking points with different words. Achievement orientation is a signature of emotional intelligence helps people and organizations strive for excellence and continuously seek out ways of doing things better. Little wonder English-born American author and cartoonist Ashleigh Brilliant said Our meetings are held to discuss many problems which would never arise if we held fewer meetings. 

Assumption #2 – Aptitude Is More Important Than Attitude

This sounds really logical on paper but in the real world, this assumption has been proven wrong time and time again. Not to dismiss the importance of technical skills, soft skills have gained a notoriety in a world that is increasingly responsive to people relations. There are documented instances where an employee has more degrees than a thermometer but fails terribly at working with other team members. Your certification alone is not of much value to any organization because the concept of the workplace is the collaboration of talents in a way that is productive and profitable. When everyone in the organization is open to receiving feedback, it can help individuals better understand themselves and better relate with colleagues.

Assumption #3 – Everyone Understands A Brief

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This is a situation when a leader assumes that since an idea is great and has been shared with the rest of the team, everyone understands it and should just go with the programme. This assumption often leads to low productivity because of the gulf between expectations and actual outcomes. In reality, reiteration is necessary for comprehension. We must remember that there is nothing like over-communication; in fact – communication isn’t done until we receive the desired feedback. This means that leaders must always check for understanding when a task is assigned. One of the smartest ways to conduct this check is to ask the listeners to state such share their understanding of the task in their own words. Adaptability is one of the critical skills of emotional intelligence both leaders and team members must develop. When leaders and team members are adaptable, they can respond positively to a new idea. 

Assumption #4 – Training Should Be for Only Top Executives

Erroneously, some organizations see training of staff members as a cost and needs to be minimized, rather than an investment that needs to be optimized. Hence, the discriminatory perception is flawed as it leads to low productivity because expertise isn’t only needed on a strategic level but also on an operational level. Execution is everything; what use is a brilliant idea from top management with inadequate competence to execute it on the operational level? Productivity is an end-to-end game; every employee is as important as the other. Available data shows that 70% of employees would be somewhat likely to leave their current job to work for an organization known for investing in employee development and learning. Positive outlook is one of the critical skills of emotional intelligence leaders must develop in order to see the best in people; this will result in a more egalitarian approach to talent development.

Growth Opportunities

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To further position your leaders for peak performance, you can download a free copy of the latest edition of The Peak Performer Magazine You can also enrol your Mid-level  Leadership Team for the Made4More Accelerator Program and your Senior Leadership Team for the Dr. Abiola Salami International Leadership Bootcamp MOMBASA 2024 We also have an upcoming training for leaders in public service 

About Dr. Abiola Salami

Dr. Abiola Salami is the Convener of Dr Abiola Salami International Leadership Bootcamp and The Peak PerformerTM. He is the Principal Performance Strategist at CHAMP – a full scale professional services firm trusted by high performing business leaders for providing Executive Coaching, Workforce Development & Advisory Services to improve performance. You can reach his team on [email protected] and connect with him @abiolachamp on all social media platforms.

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