Typical Mistakes in Surfacing Assumptions

7 typical mistakes in surfacing assumptions in Clouds

5 mistakes in surfacing assumptions behind straight arrows A-B, B-D, A-C, C-D’:

1: Reverse repetition
This mistake happens when the statement after “because” is just a reverse repetition of what was said at the beginning of the statement.

2: “It is the only way”
“It is the only way” is a repetition of what has already been stated by the straight arrow. It does not justify grounds for connection between the entities on both sides of the arrow.

3: Explaining only one entity of the connection instead of explaining the arrow
This mistake happens when, instead of explaining the arrow, the person gives an explanation or expansion of the one of the entities.
It is not the same as the reverse repetition. In this type of mistake there is no repetition. What is put in the assumption box is an ADDITION to one of the entities.

4: “To achieve what?”
This mistake type was not included in Behind the Cloud. It takes place when an assumption is worded as the answer to the question “What do we want to achieve with the entity at the tip of the arrow?”

5: Irrelevant assumption
We speak about this mistake when the statement in the assumption box is generally true, connected to the problem, and yet, does not explain the logical connection.

2 mistakes in surfacing assumptions behind the conflict arrow D-D’:

6: Wording “[D] is in conflict with [D’]”
This wording cannot be accepted as a sentence to trigger an assumption behind D-D’, as it shifts the bias either to D or D’.

7: “because D and D’ cannot be done at the same time”
This statement cannot be accepted as an assumption, because it does not add anything new to what has been stated in the cloud. The fact that D and D’ cannot be done at the same time is established by the conflict arrow.

Source: Jelena Fedurko, Mistakes and Difficulties in Working with TOC Logical Tools, 2014