First, to quote the great Paul Harvey, “You learn two things from everyone you meet. Either something that you like or dislike.” Sage advice…

I am always appreciative of the good stuff we see on social media. It is also good to follow like-minded friends. So, the other day I ran across this great post from my friend Joe Odenwald who posted the below picture with thoughts…

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So, the masterful quote by Joe’s grandfather, “Don’t get all your exercise by jumping to conclusions.” When I saw and read that, I responded to Joe that I would put it on my quote list of quotes to remember. I love hearing and learning new stuff; that quote is one of the best lately.

So, about those people who jump to conclusions… they seem to be everywhere. I’ll admit, I’ve done it a time or two myself. Not so much the older I get, but I can remember the times I have; it didn’t work out all so well. Can you remember times you have? But the question remains, why do we?

The effect of doing so is normally unwanted. I see jumping to conclusions as ignorant of the facts and not knowing the situation or the person (we see this constantly with social media and the hiding behind a keyboard).

There are actually psychological studies done on this subject. I guess there is enough material; go figure. In a blog post (and a good read) by Leandra McIntosh and Nick Hobson, People Who Jump to Conclusions Show Reasoning Errors, False Beliefs, Overconfidence and Impaired Learning a study was done by the Journal of Personality and Social PsychologyIn that study, the researchers found that people who displayed high JTC (Jumping to Conclusions) behavior made significantly more errors, were more likely to endorse conspiracy theories, and demonstrated more knowledge corruption. I’m like, I know a lot of folks that fit these characteristics.

Let’s segue into the leadership world and tie this into education. Leaders/teachers should edge on the side of being sensitive of not jumping to conclusions. The ones who do, turn it into an art that is not a pretty picture. It takes us only a short time to see how really ineffective they are on a daily basis.

The more information out there, the more opportunity we have not to know everything. However, when it comes to making conclusions, more information is better. Without time, effort, a little digging, and, most of all, thinking, all we can do is make assumptions. When we do this, we create a persona that leads people to say, “It sure is scary how they think.”

Even worse, when leaders jump to conclusions, they will seek out others for affirmation who share a similar point of view, or they will find others who are afraid of the ramifications if disagreement is not allowed.

Really good leaders are aware that they are not perfect. We all have blind spots and biases. That’s why it is so important to be open, have independent facts, not always your own, and seek others for helpful information, even if they disagree. But many of you know this, and I’ve said before, if a person has their mind made up, it doesn’t matter what the truth is.

So, I have never thought about an exercise that could actually weaken your muscles. Still, if jumping to conclusions is the only exercise you do, I believe it weakens your mind to the fullest extent and, by default, weakens your creditability.

I’m glad my friend posted something good earlier this week that strengthened my thought process. I’m also glad that he mentioned receiving sage advice. I’m glad I have people who can provide me with the same. I hope you do as well. Now, time to exercise…

Let’s go fight the good fight of leadership. Someone has to…

Go be a great educator and leader today… Our future needs it…

Remember… Think Leadership and Be For Others…

©2023 J Clay Norton

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