When I sold my first house, the buyer was visibly nervous at the closing. I assumed her anxiety was due to the financial shock of signing papers for such a large amount, but I was wrong. As I attempted to reassure her, I learned the true reason for her distress.

“Your two dogs were outside when we saw it with the Realtor,” she said. “My young son thinks that they come with the house and will still be there when we move in! He is so excited about moving because of it. I am just nervous about how he is going to react when we arrive and there are no pets to be found.”

We often make assumptions about the motivations behind others’ behavior — whether that be at a house closing, business meeting or political rally. Make it a habit to ask, rather than to assume. You may be seeing the manifestation of something entirely different than what you would guess.

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

Dr. beth triplett is the owner of leadership dots, offering coaching, training and consulting for new supervisors. She also shares daily lessons on her leadershipdots blog. Her work is based on the leadership dots philosophy that change happens through the intentional connecting of small steps in the short term to the big picture in the long term.

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