Facilitation Antipattern: Conclusion Jumper

Posted by Doc
Jan 31 2009

conclusion_jumperMotto: I don’t need to hear everything you have to say – I’ve got it!
Belief: I am quicker than others in figuring things out, and am required to tell them so.
Behavior: States a conclusion as if they have enough information, then argues the point.
Characteristics: articulate, convincing

In my life, I have been so guilty of this. When I was younger, because I knew I was smart, I always assumed that I knew where the other person was going and would jump in. Of course, the other person was offended/annoyed, even if I was right.

Why? Because they wanted to finish what they had to say. They didn’t care that I was impatient to move on, that I thought I knew what they were going to say and where they were going, that I thought I was smart  – they wanted a show of respect.

Yup – Conclusion Jumpers are generally disrespectful. What their behavior says is “I’m smart, I’m fast, and what you have to say is less important than my desire to show my smarts and move things forward.” Who is that about? Them – the Jumper – not me.

If you are a facilitator, even if only for one meeting, then your responsibility is to be patient, listen, ask questions – not interrupt, nor assume that you know what someone means or what they’re going to say. Your responsibility is to encourage all parties to listen to all parties – if you don’t do it, then they will learn that they don’t have to.

In fact, part of your responsibility is to teach everyone present about respect and patience and listening.

I seem to have used the word resonsibility a lot in this post, don’t I?

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