- The assumption that others familiar with the problem or issue will share your enthusiasm for your ideas.Although this might seem to be a reasonable expectation, it seldom is. The more familiar people are with a problem or issue, the more likely they are to have their own ideas.
- The assumption that small imperfections in your idea will not affect people’s acceptance of it.When other people’s ideas differ from yours, they are likely to magnify flaws in your ideas without even realizing it because, subconsciously, they are looking for an excuse to reject your ideas. Small imperfections may provide that excuse.
- The assumption that if your idea is clear to you, it will be clear to others.If you’ve ever sat in a classroom and heard a teacher offer an explanation that didn’t make the slightest sense to you, you should appreciate the confusion this assumption can cause. Your understanding of what you are expressing does not constitute clarity. If you want the solution and its presentation to be clear, you must construct it to be so and not just assume that it is.
- The assumption that the people who stand to benefit most from your idea will accept it automatically without any persuasion on your part.This assumption has caused creative people incalculable grief. For example, when Elias Howe invented the sewing machine, he knew it would be a boon to the garment industry by revolutionizing garment construction and making the clothing business much more profitable. He may very well have assumed that the mere unveiling of his invention would be sufficient to have the leaders of that industry praise it and him. But reality didn’t match that assumption. Howe couldn’t get a single American firm interested enough to buy the machine. He was forced to go to England to find a favorable reception. To spare yourself disappointment, never assume that the value of your ideas will be universally recognized. Expect to have to persuade other people.
Why Criticism is Necessary
The Art of Thinking. A Guide to Critical and Creative Thought, Ninth Edition
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