Jumping to Conclusions

Jumping to Conclusions

I wrote an article about a conversation with my father where I talked about what how my beliefs had changed over the years.

Shortly after sending out the newsletter, I got an email from a long-time friend that said, “I’m shocked, Jill. I thought you were for supporting the “millions in the middle.” It feels like you’re espousing socialist/democratic platform.”

Whoa! I was shocked. Stunned that she’d jumped to that conclusion. I even had to google “socialism” to see what I was being accused of. But it happens to all of us.

Watch out the conversation with Carlos Quintero on “Jumping to Conclusions,” or scroll below to read the text.

JILL KONRATH: Hi, there. I'm Jill Konrath from What's Really Possible. I'm here today with Carlos Quintero, the leader of EKG Power from South Carolina. EKG stands for empathy, kindness, and gratitude.

In an earlier video, Carlos and I talked about the importance of empathy in creating the world that we want to live in.

Today I'd like to add another challenge to our conversation. In our divided country, we don’t often meet or socialize with “the others.” And when we do, it doesn't always turn out very well.

For example—and I'll just give a quickie—a few years back, I went to a football game. My son played college ball and we’d traveled to another part of the country. At the end of the game, we went to a local bar to have a hamburger and some beer.

While waiting to get seated, a young man started talking to me. He asked, “Where are you from?” I said, “Minnesota.”

Then he said, “Oh. Red state or blue state?” And I replied, “Well, Minnesota is interesting. It's kind of half and half.”

Then he responded, “Oh. Where do you get your news?” And I answered, “Well, I try to watch multiple stations and I have all these different news apps.”

And after hearing that, he literally turned away. He never asked me another question. Nor did he say anything else to me.

He couldn’t put me in a box. So, I believe he jumped to the conclusions that I was the “other.”

CARLOS QUINTERO: Yeah, what he thought of you or what he thought of someone coming from Minnesota.

JILL: Yes, but that doesn't help us come together if we jump to conclusions, I mean, if we meet somebody like that, it doesn't work. And we have a natural tendency to jump to conclusions. People are either with us or they're against us.

CARLOS: No question. I mean, we all jump to conclusions based on our experiences, our beliefs, things that we have done.

For example, years ago, I had the opportunity to move to the West Coast. I thought it was going to be awful. I had this mental block around what Los Angeles and everything around it looked like. And same thing happened my first time going to New York. I felt like I was going to get attacked.

JILL: I felt that way too.

CARLOS: I think we jump to conclusions based on our heritage, our point of view, how we've been raised, right? So, we need to be very careful and attentive to that, because if we don't, then we're not going to be able to make progress in this world with all its differences.

JILL: Yeah, well, both you and I come from a career in sales, and we don't talk about that much now because we're doing other things. But we frequently had to work with people we didn't know. Buyers, customers, engineers, executives. You name it. We talked to everybody.

Before meeting with these people, I always researched the individual, their position and their company. I wanted to find out what things like: What did that position care about? What were their issues and challenges? What did they do daily? How did they think about different things? How were they solving their problems?

And by thinking about that ahead of time, it gave me some grounding in terms of how to have a good conversation with this person. I could discover if what I was selling would be a good fit and make sense for them.

CARLOS: When I was originally going after larger public companies, they had 10-K Reports available—and that was powerful.

JILL: Powerful.

CARLOS: It told you the history, the context, their perspective. And out of that, you picked up some phrases, some issues, some dynamics. And you would say to the customer, “Ms. Konrath, I read in your 10-K Report that ...”

And the person would say, “Holy smokes. You've done some homework.” In essence, I understood their critical issues.

JILL: Yes. And I think we don't always do that with other people. We are in our own little box, and we assume things. One of the things I was told was to “Never Assume” something about a person because if you did, you made an ass out of you and me (ASS-U-ME). Did you ever hear that?

CARLOS: Oh, many times. Used to say it all the time too.

JILL: Yes. So, I don't think we do that enough in our regular society, just in terms of talking. We don't set ourselves in other people's shoes. And so, I’d like to do a little thought experiment here. Can we do one?


JILL: Okay. Immigration is a huge issue in the country. It’s a big issue. And if I look from the perspective of one side, I can see the hordes of people crossing our border and get angry and get mad.

Or I can look at it from the perspective of the mother from Guatemala who’s trekked a thousand miles with three children and her partner. She doesn’t have any food or a place to live. They don’t make enough money to feed their children. And I know that if I were in her situation, I’d be an immigrant too.

CARLOS: Yes, right. Well, again, survival is the number one calling. Everybody wants to survive.

JILL: And you’d do what it takes. Yet we haven't found a way to take these two different perspectives and merge them together. We need to ask, “How can we help these people?”

At the same time, we need to take care of what's going on in our country. It's an issue. You were an immigrant. Tell me about your experience.

CARLOS: Well, for us, it was 60 years ago now, so it's a little bit earlier in life, and circumstances in this country were different.

But the argument was that communism took over Cuba, where I immigrated from. Suddenly, everyone's freedom was gone. Members of my family were put in jail until they ultimately died.

So, the truth is that immigration is real. North America—and particularly the United States—has always been a beacon for freedom.

And we’ve seen the powerful influence that immigration has provided us back from 100 years ago when people would come to the Statue of Liberty. So, on the one hand, we believe in that.

Ultimately the problem is how to do it so that people aren't taking advantage of taxpayers here? We certainly need talent, we certainly need good workers, and they bring many, many skills to bear. So, immigration is always that trade-off. And I don't know what the answer is.

JILL: I don't think we're here to discuss the answer. But the point is that if we can look at things from multiple perspectives, we can probably come up with a better solution.

And it's only by looking from multiple sides and having empathy, that we can come together to find a better solution for all. One that we and other people can buy into so all of us can move forward.

CARLOS: No question. I agree.

JILL: Okay, well, that's all we're going to talk to about jumping to conclusions. We are going to get back to talking about empathy and how to really create good empathy in the questions and everything too. And that'll be up soon. Thank you very much for being here today.

CARLOS: You bet. Thank you, Jill.


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