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Go for the Understanding

From the “you have to slow down to speed up” department comes this reminder: seek, first, to understand the other person’s perspective. Want to get more done quicker? Then slow down and take more time to understand what the other person really means, needs, and will do.

Try this: ask someone to explain their perspective. Then listen. Say what you think you heard them say, in your words. Ask the person if she thinks, based on what you said, that you understand what she had said. If not, ask her to reexplain. Keep going until she says you understand her perspective. When you do, then turn the tables and ask her to do the same favor for you. Use this technique anytime. It is especially good when you and the other person are stuck on an issue, not coming to resolution.

Does this take time? Yup. Typically about 20 minutes. Is there anything better you could be doing with that time. Unlikely.

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