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Analysing your inferences

Developed by Chris Argyris, the ladder of inference is a tool which you can use to:

  • Examine your thinking process and make sure that you don’t jump to conclusions and potentially make poor judgements.
  • Help you to avoid conflict with people who have drawn different conclusions from the same information.
  • Help you to communicate better with others and get the most information out of your interactions.

The steps are:

  1. What actually happened,
  2. Selecting what happened,
  3. Making assumptions,
  4. Conclusions,
  5. Beliefs,
  6. Actions.

Have a think about the people you work with. Are your assumptions about them accurate or have you jumped to conclusions?

Look at your interactions with others. Do you explain your thought processes? What would be the benefit of taking a little longer to share these more thoroughly?

In the comments below, share your thoughts on how you could give people more opportunity to share their own thinking through questioning. What questions would you use?

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