Assumptions – A contributing Factor to Miscommunication

by | Jul 31, 2015 | Adventures in Awareness

Adventures in Awareness  Issue #11

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” - George Bernard Shaw, Irish playwright, essayist & short story writer as well as co-founder of the London School of Economics (Jul 26 1856-Nov 2 1950, age 94)

“The very ground of your being, out of which comes all your thoughts, is silence…When you arrive in your own silence you will know true freedom and real power. Stop, take a minute, and listen to the silence within you today. Then be aware of what disturbs your inner silence. It could be negative thoughts, memories, sensations. And when you are aware, you will know what is draining your creative power, and you will know what needs to change…on the inside!” (Unknown)

A Contributing Factor to Miscommunication

Over the last month or more, I’ve noticed that within each coaching conversation my clients and I were unraveling assumptions from facts related to the session’s topic area. As we traced each assumption backward and finally unearthed the simple facts, we were astonished by the different choices that became visible. With each conversation, I became more curious about my own ‘assumption habits’ and have been observing them with fascination.

A case in point: a couple of weeks ago I had a telephone interview with a potential client who had contacted me about coaching. During our conversation, I took notes as I typically do and wrapped up by asking when she would be making her choice of coach. She said she had some company arriving the next week and would make a decision by the end of that week. I asked her permission to contact her if I hadn’t heard back from her in that time, and she said, ‘yes’.

Putting a reminder on my computer to call her back in a week’s time, I set aside my notes and went about my other business. The day the reminder popped up, I made an unconscious assumption that if she hadn’t called me back by then she had probably hired another coach and perhaps felt awkward to let me know. Armed with that ‘conversation’ I decided NOT to follow up with her, yet my gut gave a wrench and wouldn’t settle down for the next day or so.

As often happens for me when I’m in curious self-observer mode, during my contemplations and musings I took note of my gut’s uneasy reactions, seeking what had ‘disturbed my inner silence’. And, as ‘luck’ would have it, in going through some papers on my desk I uncovered my notes from that conversation. As I reviewed them, my heart was again touched as I read her reasons for seeking a coach, the dreams she wants to fulfill finally and remembered the earnest yearning in her voice. Not only that, as I saw my notation about contacting her, I felt ashamed that I had not followed through on a promise I made to her and myself – not my usual professionalism.

With that realization, I picked up the phone and called her, saying I was following through with her as I’d promised and was curious about where she was in her decision-making process. To my utter delight, she said her final step in making her decision was to see who of the coaches would follow up with her;j our coaching partnership begins after I return from vacation the end of next week. I’m very much looking forward to the opportunity to support her next steps toward birthing those precious dreams of hers. Needless to say, my gut has settled down now that an actual conversation took place rather than the ‘illusionary conversation’ my inner saboteur concocted in my head brain.

Because I simply can’t help myself, this has prompted even more curiosity within me about assumptions (mine and others) and the role they play in communication or miscommunication. As I move through my days over the coming weeks, I’m staying aware and practicing catching any assumptions earlier and earlier in their progression. I’m eagerly gaining the visceral awareness not only of when assumptions are being made but also taking notice of the impact of those assumptions on my mind, body and spirit.

Finally, I’m taking responsibility for making an assumption by starting with, “My assumption here is…”, Or, “I assume…” in my speaking and email. This verbal and written responsibility has supported clarity in several conversations recently, for which I’m grateful.



How about you - what role do assumptions play in your thinking and reactions to people and situations?

I invite you to consider this question and, as you do, notice what new awareness emerges from within you. And please remember to have FUN on that awareness adventure into the question, okay?

Happy exploring!



Since we’re all inextricably interconnected to each other, our planet, and our universe, here are some of the energies we’re all swimming in together right now:

Full Moon - Jul 31 3:43 AM PDT- “Blue Moon”  the 2nd full moon in the same month  - Full moon is a time to reflect on the seeds planted during the last new moon, to celebrate something new, and do something awesome!

The Power Path ~ It is always easy to dwell on the difficulty, the intensity, what is not working, the frustration, the confusion, the impatience of not quite getting that which you can sense just beyond your reach. This is a time when things are still not yet clear, can be somewhat confusing, and when it is helpful to keep a “don’t know mind” and to continue to push forward into unknown territory with trust and humor. This full moon is eccentric enough that it will support whatever stretch outside the box you are willing to go for. Set some lofty intentions for bigger dreams and honor this new territory with doing something you have never done before. Laugh, dance, sing and be grateful for your life!

Stephanie Austin, EcoAstrology - The next full moon, which peaks on Friday, July 31 at 3:43 AM PDT is the 2nd full moon this month, an occurrence sometimes called a blue moon. In reality, blue moons are not that rare; two full moons fall within one calendar month every 2 to 3 years. The occurrence of a blue moon is due to the structure of our calendar and is not astrologically significant, but has gained attention through widespread repetition. In the 19th century, a Farmers’ Almanac editor used a blue pencil to circle the date of the fourth full moon occurring within a season, which eventually led to any “extra” full moon in a month being called a “blue moon.” This illustrates the theme of this full moon in Aquarius-Leo — how the power of individual intention and the force of collective consciousness combine to create our reality.

Venus Retrograde - Jul 25-Sep 6

Stephanie Austin, EcoAstrology - Venus retrograde summons us to bring more beauty and balance into our lives, especially with regard to our relationships, finances, and creative pursuits. Venus retrogrades for six weeks every 18 months, urging us to reflect on our values, what makes us happy, and what we might be missing. This is an excellent time to heal old heartbreaks, take care of unfinished business, and make more room in your life for things that bring you joy. What have you always wanted to do? What would help heal and open your heart? What do you need to accept, forgive, and/or release?

Madeline Gerwick, Business Astrologer, Polaris Business Guides –

Venus retrograde is a cycle that occurs roughly every 19 months and it lasts about 6 weeks. This cycle is a time when we rethink relationships, finances and our values. This doesn’t have to be “bad”, as many people characterize it. It can actually be quite helpful! These topics are all tied together via how much we value our self. In any personal relationship, what we really have to give is our self. The more we value our self, the more we attract loving and appropriate life partners and friends to us. In the same way, the more we value our self, the more money and prosperity we allow our self to have and receive easily. So they are all tied together. The key is how much we value our self.

Cosmic*Intelligence*Agency ~

Astrologically speaking, Venus reflects those desires and attachments we seek to materially fulfill our lives whilst the Sun symbolizes the Light of consciousness…The importance of 2015’s re-birthing is the uniqueness of the cosmic conditions that speak of the seeding of a new ‘ideal’ concerning the creation of conditions on the earth to house a new form of love-consciousness that will infuse within our personal and collective psyches over the next 8 years.

Uranus Retrograde - Jul 26-Dec 25

Stephanie Austin, EcoAstrology Uranus highlights where we need to break old patterns and make a radical shift; use its retrograde phase to explore alternatives. Where do you need to be more independent and innovative? Where do you need to take a leap of faith? Uranus reminds us that in order for things to change, we have to change.

July 23-31 The Power Path -

This could be a time of confusion. Who am I? Where am I? Whose life is this? Where am I going? Nothing looks familiar. Nothing feels familiar. How did I get here?

This is where trust comes in. The most important things that need your attention and that you are creating for yourself for some reason will show up in a way that you cannot ignore. So do not worry that you have somehow lost control or cannot seem to grasp the organization of your life at this time. There is almost a relaxed quality to the times. Savor it and allow yourself to trust the support of spirit.

This time frame may have you experiencing yourself enthusiastically stretching into the growing pains that have now become familiar and more comfortable. You may surprise yourself by taking on something you never would have imagined doing before or making a choice that would have been uncharacteristic of you in the past.

Jul 26-Aug 22 is the “Magnetic Moon [Month] of Purpose”

according to the Galactic Calendar - its energies are Unify-Attract-Purpose: “I am One with the Earth. The Earth and myself are One Mind.”

July Theme - GROWING PAINS - The Power Path –

The Growing Pains and discomfort are connected to the false personality and its resistance to change. You may experience breakthrough, freedom and relief in one area of your life where sudden change occurs and then in another area you may fall into great resistance and suffering. One day you may hear a piece of news that sends you spiraling into the depths of depression depending on your ego attachments, and the next day the same situation may spur and inspire you to explore your creativity in a different way, supporting necessary change in your life. The key is to pay attention to what is showing up and how it is showing up and to stay out of negative reaction. Neutrality and acceptance around any situation will go a long way in moving you through the belches and glitches that threaten to derail your sense of well-being.
Being proactive with your growing pains will always produce more positive results while passivity and fear-based denial will only lead to anxiety, a lack of enthusiasm and possibly suffering. There is a difference between being neutrally accepting as opposed to being in fear-based passive denial. Being neutrally accepting is facing what is showing up without judgment, blame, guilt or shame. Then you can follow with taking a proactive step towards your own change and re-patterning, always being aware of the bigger picture and not taking anything personally.

Upcoming Events:

ICF Competency Brush-Up Program - 18.0 ICF CCEs [in core competencies] - I designed and love leading this program - next offering begins August 26, 2015
2016 ICF Midwest Conference - Theme: “The Crossroads of Coaching” June 23-25, 2016 in Indianapolis IN
Are you a coach seeking the opportunity to hear experienced coaches coach and ask them questions about their approach? Check out Gail Moore’s “Inside the World of Master Coaching” Monthly Tele-classes


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