Is there a good way to respond to assumers as opposed to questioners?
February 1, 2013 8:25 AM Subscribe
In my day to day life, I often have to deal with people who, instead of asking questions, make assumptions aloud at you about what you're going to be doing despite the fact that these assumptions may not be accurate. A lot of the time these techniques are used along with someone pretending to be so hopelessly helpless that they could not possibly take care of their own workplace problems.
Basically, it's a technique used by weasels.
"I know you're going to be very helpful during this process because..." or "I don't know x from z so it's a good thing you are here to handle that part"
They will also make assumptions about what you would and would not do. "I know you wouldn't want x or z to happen because..."
These things are usually in no way true. In fact, the weasel in question often knows they're not true, they're just testing boundaries.
So my question is generally, how does one push back against these behaviors without being rude, jarring and literal? Especially if you're dealing with a weasel -- they're better at this than you. I tend to shut down in the presence of weaselry, giving them very little the work with, but this doesn't seem like the best solution.