Presuming Fear Patronizes People | #PeopleSkills #Leadership

Presuming fear in people patronizes them and shows your weakness. Consider these moments where you might presume others are afraid. How does it make them feel? Comforted or demeaned?

Presuming Fear: Image is Scrabble Tiles Spelling Fear

Presuming Fear Patronizes People. Image by Jester Sehested via Flickr.

Image by Jester Sehested of via Flickr Creative Commons License.

Presuming Fear in Others Shows Your Weakness and Need

Presuming fear is what others are feeling doesn’t necessarily comfort them. Listening clearly and learning the truth gives you the chance to interact and respond appropriately.

Common Moments of Presuming Fear

  • Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals who presume patients are afraid patronize and dominate when the patients want to get a second opinion

  • Coaches who presume fear when those they coach work at a different pace than what they prefer

  • Team members who think their teammates are afraid when they don’t want to do physically challenging team building exercises. Maybe they have medical conditions or physical limitations you don’t know about.

  • Leaders who presume fear when team members want information and details before they move ahead. Maybe their work style is different from yours.

  • People who presume fear when people prefer calm fun vs. wild fun. Maybe they just define fun differently from you!

  • Friends who presume others are afraid of their dog when those folks simply don’t like dogs jumping up and licking them. The common retort, “Don’t worry … the dog won’t hurt you” shows that you live in your own reality.

While you are presuming fear, what are you not learning and seeing in others? Are you overlooking how people think, what they really need, what they care about, and the current reality? Instead you are showing …

Your weakness and need to:

  • Assume without asking

  • Feel better than others

  • Move ahead without listening

  • Fit the truth into your skew

  • Project your thoughts & dominate

Presuming fear in others robs everyone of the chance for true connection and shared success. Connect and learn about people. You will also find opportunities to give them the kind of care they truly need.

When have people wrongly presumed you were afraid? What was the result?

From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

©2018 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.

Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

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2 Responses to “Presuming Fear Patronizes People | #PeopleSkills #Leadership”

  1. Alli Polin says:

    I was just talking to someone about this today! We so often assume that we know, with 100% certainty, someone else’s experience. By doing that we lump every person into one big mush of sameness. It’s funny, we know that we each have our own unique thoughts and perspectives but forget that other’s do too – and they don’t need to convince us or prove to us that they’re valid. There are plenty of things other than fear that could be at play. Presuming, instead of asking and understanding, builds walls and reduces connection. This is an important post for people to read and ask themselves where they’re doing this to others.

    Thanks, Kate!


    • Kate Nasser says:

      Many thanks Alli. You are right that anyone can fall into the trap of presuming they know what others are feeling. When we take time to become more self-aware, we can prevent these mistakes and improve our relationships.


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