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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Get Clarity

"But I thought you said..."

"Didn't you tell me...?"

"I'm sure you asked for..."

Over and over and over again, we get into trouble because we thought we knew what someone wanted, but instead we leapt to conclusions based on preconceived notions.

The other person starts to tell us what he wants, and we interrupt: "I know, I know..." or "Yeah, yeah, I got it..."

But to rip off Poor Richard, "An ounce of clarification is worth a pound of confusion."

Try this:

Step One: Listen to what is actually said.

Step Two: Reflect back what we heard.

Step Three: Only go ahead when confirmation is received.

It takes longer to give these instructions than to actually do it.

So take a couple of seconds to get clarity, whether for a "direct order" at work or instructions to pick up something from the grocery store.

You'll be happier.

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