There are times when we are so keen to express our opinions on a topic that we fail to fully understand the issue at hand.

To what point did this begin to happen? Why do they feel so strongly about things that often we don’t have much knowledge about?

It’s much simpler to form our own conclusions about the author’s intent than to actually read the whole article.

It’s typical to judge a person based on what her detractors say rather than getting to know her.

People jump to conclusions without fully understanding the issue at hand.

We make the assumption that we already know what our customers and other stakeholders want to hear, rather than really talking to them.

We avoid performing the mathematics, reading the footnotes, and repeating the experiment since the outcomes may not be what we expect.

This may be due to several reasons, including a lack of critical thinking skills, limited attention span, and our desire for quick solutions.

The rise of social media and the internet has made it easier to access information, but it has also made it easier to spread misinformation and perpetuate stereotypes.

Because the audience might be persuaded to our side by the person who speaks the loudest, most quickly, and angrily, we had better get moving otherwise we will be left behind.

People are often drawn to opinions that align with their existing beliefs and are less likely to engage in constructive dialogue with those who have different viewpoints.

It’s considerably easier to jump conclusion than do the actual hard work of reading the book, doing the research and connecting the dots.

In order to avoid jumping to conclusions, it’s important to cultivate a habit of critical thinking and to seek out diverse perspectives on any given issue, conduct the interview, read the book, do the research and connect the dots.

It’s also important to take the time to understand the context and background information related to a topic and to avoid making assumptions based on limited information.

By doing so, we can deepen our understanding and make more informed decisions.

Sometimes it is okay to say:

“I don’t have enough information about that to express an opinion” or

“I have seen the information, I have heard the views, but I haven’t had time to think about it to form an opinion.” or

“I need more time to think about this topic before forming an opinion” or

“I don’t have enough context to fully understand the issue, so I prefer to hold off on expressing an opinion.” or

“I’ve seen some conflicting information, and I want to take the time to sort it out before sharing my thoughts.” or

“I appreciate the opportunity to hear different perspectives, but I need to process everything before I can form a cohesive opinion.” or

“Let me sleep on it, I will let you know tomorrow.”

Admitting that you don’t know enough about a topic or that you need more time to think about it is a sign of maturity and humility, and it can help to foster more productive and respectful discussions.

By avoiding knee-jerk reactions and allowing yourself the time to truly understand an issue, you are more likely to arrive at an informed and well-reasoned opinion that you can stand behind.

Doing the hard work of understanding has become more challenging as a result of the excessive amount of noise out there.

The hard work is not only in doing the work to understand but also the emotional work of biting your tongue until you have done the work.

Think before you talk, read before you think.

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