UMBC Wellness in the Workplace

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March 2011: Language Series Practice #3 – “Ground opinions with facts”

Last month we talked about the distinction between assessments (our opinions and interpretations) and assertions (facts that are validated by our community to be true). One of the challenges we face in our relationships is our tendency to make ‘ungrounded’ assessments – assessments that have no basis in fact and are based on layers of other assessments. For example: ‘Don is incompetent.’ When probing a little deeper about why I think this, I might say: “Don doesn’t complete his work on time and it’s always full of errors.” If these assessments remain unchallenged, what might be the consequence for Don and for my relationship with him? Learning to ‘ground’ our assessments helps us to become rigorous and accountable for our opinions and provides an opportunity for us to create new assessments.

So, how do we ground assessments? Open the link below for a ‘5 Step Method for Grounding Assessments.’ In the next month, identify several negative assessments that you have of others and using the 5 steps, ground the assessment. Notice how you feel about your partner before and after you ground the assessment and any shifts that show up for the relationship as a result.

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