Be careful when making assumptions

Before deciding on the best item for my drawing at the Hell Yeah Star! event I talked with several people. My web designer, Tracie Hall  mentioned that she had found Dragon NaturallySpeaking to be a great tool. Because she can dictate rather than key in her reports for her clients she is able to get things done much more quickly than in the past.

I remembered Dragon Dictate from my work in the past teaching communication skills to newly blinded adults. Dragon was one of the first speech to text software programs. While it required training, it was a lot faster method to create text files than ‘typing’ for someone who had never typed.

In talking with Tracie it was apparent that it was even better now than it had been in the past. She mentioned that she could use it with her smart phone as well as her computer. She talked about importing mp3 files from her small recorder and transcribing them. I then jumped to the conclusion that Dragon could transcribe any mp3 files.

It’s the ideal tool for creative people who prefer to talk through their ideas rather than write them out with pen and paper or computer keyboard. Imagine just talking about the first step in your process without having to think about how the words are spelled or wondering if your grammar is correct. No stopping to edit along the way and losing the final part of your thought.

And if I understood Tracie correctly, the program could even transcribe files from teleclasses and interviews recorded in the past. That would make it even more perfect for my prospective clients.

After talking up the program  to people stopping at my booth, I did some research in my copy of Dragon NaturallySpeaking for Dummies and couldn’t find any reference to importing files. I was beginning to think I had failed to ask some important questions.

When I got back home I checked with Tracie and learned that I had made some false assumptions. She was able to get her reports done quickly because she could speak her answers to questions. However, she couldn’t import the range of files I had assumed she could.

This whole experience reminded me of Don Miguel Ruiz’ Third Agreement: Don’t Make Assumptions.

Don’t Make Assumptions. Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

Miguel Angel Ruiz

By making assumptions based on incomplete information I may have misrepresented this great tool to many of the people I talked with last week. While it does a lot, it won’t do all of the ‘magical’ things I thought, and told others about.

The next time you learn about a great new tool, don’t forget to ask the questions that let you know what it can do and what it can’t do. Even if it doesn’t do all that you could imagine it might do it can still be the perfect tool to do what you need to do.

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