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Ask rather than assume

King Kirti Singh went to jungle for hunting. While moving around, he observed some trees having arrows pierced accurately on target in the center of circles marked on the trees. The king became curious to know the archer of such mastery. He asked his men to look around and see if they can get some hint about the archer.

After searching for some time, the men got hold of a shepherd boy. He was brought to the king. The king asked whether the boy has any idea about the arrows. The boy claimed that the arrows belonged to him. The king asked again curiously whether the boy was being honest. The boy confirmed that he was the one who stuck the arrows on trees.

The king ordered the boy to follow him to his capital. The boy sensed something suspicious, nonetheless he could not have courage to question the king. He followed the king.

Next day the king ordered for organizing an archery show and it was advertised that a new minister will showcase his skills in archery. The crowd gathered to see the new minister and his skills.

When the boy appeared in the arena, he could not even hold the bow properly. Seeing the boy struggle, the king questioned him the reason. The boy claimed that he has never touched a bow, leave aside shooting the arrows. This response angered the king and he claimed the boy of cheating him. The boy firmly said that he has been honest. “You said the arrows in trees belonged to you”, said the king in anger. “Yes, your majesty the arrows were mine, but I did not strike them with bow. I just marked the circle in trees and pierced the arrows in the center”, clarified the boy. “You never asked me anything about archery”, he said further. 

The king could do nothing but repent his hastiness.

Lessons to take from the story

• Clarity in the communications is a very important aspect for a healthy, progressive, and positive communication. As Brene Brown says, ‘being clear is kind’. It is better to keep the facts on table before making the decisions.

• We generally tend to assume the basics and only focus on the other aspects. Anything and everything should be asked clearly and not left to assumptions.

• Underlying assumptions and ignored facts are one of the major reasons for failure of projects even after lot of planning and investment.

• In teams also keeping the communication ambiguous creates interpersonal issues. Such issues tend to ruin the team spirit and kill the team building. Open discussions and clear communication can help in making stronger teams and healthier workspaces.

• Human mind is a story creator, it loves to link the dots and make interesting and exciting narrations out of it. However, the narration created in our minds is much farther than the reality. Hence, validating the narrative by our mind is always recommended.

Reference: Story taken from magazine Akhand Jyoti

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