How often have you not replied to an email and when you finally came back to it, you ended up writing far more than you would have done, had you simply replied right away? This used to happen to me…
This phrase is attributed variously to St Francis and the Book of Proverbs. It seems appropriate on an Easter and Passover weekend. It has come up recently in work I’ve been doing with teams that are frustrated when their colleagues do not understand them. They describe scenes of irritation and rising blood pressure as they point out the fault in the thinking of others. But they readily admit that the first step in being understood is first to understand.
If you’re getting nowhere explaining your point of view, stop and listen. Listen carefully, demonstrate you understand, acknowledge what the other person is saying. Summarize what they have said to see if you’ve understood correctly. If/when they agree with your summary, let them know you see things differently and ask if they would be curious to hear how. Then seek to be understood. No one said it would be easy. But it can be very effective.
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