15 Oct 2007

A weekend in my head, a minute in conversation

Posted by eranmagen

I had a fun experience yesterday which I thought would be nice to share. I was driving back home with my girlfriend, and was trying to figure out my plans for the next day.

We had rented a car for the weekend, and planned on my returning the car on Monday. As it happened, I had a few meetings scheduled for Monday, and I wasn’t quite sure how I’d fit in the car return. I’ve been thinking about it on occasion throughout the weekend, and had some vague notions of how it could be done – but no concrete plan.

And there we are, driving along, when suddenly I remember that I need to return the car tomorrow, and I have lots of meetings, and I’m not sure how to do it. So I ask Rachel if she would mind helping me plan the logistics for tomorrow and Rachel, being her sweet self, says that she’d be glad to.

So I describe my day to her, then tell her when I need to return the car, then suggest a possible plan, realize there’s a glitch in it, offer an alternative, explore it, realize it’s gonna word, and before I know it I’m thanking Rachel for helping me figure it out. At this point I continue to drive in silence for a few seconds, a bit surprised and more than a bit pleased about how the conversation went. The whole thing took about a minute, but suddenly here was the plan I’ve been trying to form over the entire weekend.

Having an attentive listener can do incredible things. As a speaker, I found that my thinking became much clearer, much more focused and more concrete. And, before I knew it, I had come up with my own solution to a problem that has been bugging me for a few days.

Could I have done that on my own? Probably. But the fact is that I didn’t – even though I had many opportunities to. I only figured out what to do, and how to do it, while talking with Rachel.

Thanks, Rachel. 🙂

So next time You’re having a hard time nailing down the concrete details of a plan, try finding a patient friend, and just talk it through. Good things happen.


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