Ask Alignor

What if someone’s needs or interests turn out to be different from what I anticipated?

Let’s face it, this happens all the time. You may have a pretty good idea what someone’s needs are, but you may also be wrong about some key needs. The good news is that at least you have already been thinking about the needs of others! So when you get new information, you need not discard your previous analysis. Instead, you can just update your analysis with the new information. When this happens, it does not mean your earlier attempt to anticipate the needs of others was a mistake. It just means we do not know everything when we make assumptions about people’s needs. If it turns out that someone’s needs are other than what we expected, we should see it as a learning opportunity and be flexible by taking into account the new information.