I hopped on a local city bus this morning and overheard two people talking about the weather and March heat wave that has blessed (or assaulted, depending on your winter pass-time) much of the northern US and southern Canada.
Like many of us do, the people talking about the weather were offering their own forecast. And like many of us do as well, they were expressing their opinions as definitive statements of certain fact as though they could foresee the future. They didn't preface any of their comments with "I guess," "I think or suspect," "I'm gambling," or even the venerable IMHO.
Yes, in context, we all acknowledge that personal weather prognostication is not based on scientific fact or professional judgment - "It is what it is."
It does make me wonder, though, how much confusion we create by stating option, judgments, or "best guesses" as fact in business (or even personal) contexts that are less clear, and having those words taken literally and acted upon by others.
Clarity on what we're expressing (and opinion vs. fact, or even a preliminary thought vs. a fully formed idea call to action) can go a long way towards ensuring that listeners have the right expectations, reducing confusion, making productive change, and building good relationships.