Guilty of “jumping in” too quickly? Do you know how much asking: “What’s One More Thing” can help enhance your patience and communication?
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We are all so primed on efficiency. Cutting to the chase is that matters. Getting the result we are looking for quickly and sustainably. Problem solving allows us to beat our chest with pride. The quicker the better. No worries – licked that, what’s next? Patience? get out of here – we’re much to busy for that…!
False economy, right? We have lost the art of listening. We don’t listen to understand but to prepare our response. So we can either upstage the other view or help more quickly to get to our desired outcome. Jumping in when we think we’ve heard enough words by which we think we know what the other person is trying to say. Often interrupting a good thought. Or finishing their sentence for them. Guilty?
Are Bosses and Jumping In Synonyms?
We’re all able to point out the notoriously impatient boss that keeps jumping in too quickly, aren’t we? Not that they necessarily have to do all the talking, but they just seem to think they own the right to timing the conclusion. Often simply cutting off relevant debate when they think they’ve heard enough. Really makes us feel empowered, doesn’t it? Yet they seem to be completely oblivious to its effect. Perhaps you’re one of those bosses, and aren’t aware of it?
Apart from the disrespectful manner in which it turns people off, I have learned that in all this rush, rush, rush, we often seem to forego the advantage of a better outcome. Which, had we allowed just a bit more time to pursue just a few more perspectives, we might have achieved a significantly better, if not more meaningful or lasting outcome. One that everyone buys in to. Why? Because being allowed to contribute we feel aligned with the agreement or decision.
Using “What’s One More Thing?” To Avoid Jumping In
What if we could have a “crutch” that reminds us when we are about to risk breaking the “jumping in” habit? This is where I’m coming from when I ask the question: “so what’s one more thing?”
In the coaching conversation, much value add comes from leveraging the reframe and pursuing multiple perspectives – that is, how might we be able to look at this situation or opportunity differently? Or how might somone whose skills we admire look at this? What could we learn from that and apply to our opportunity? This is where I often ask “so what’s one more thing?“.
It’s a little like when someone answers your question with “I don’t know“. That’s a lazy cop-out and I’m known to immediately ask “well, what if you did“, forcing them to engage with the question and dig deeper. This is where often the true value of a good coach emerges. Not by giving advice. But by asking powerful, incisive questions that allow the client to seek and find the necessary answers. That way they aren’t “your“answers. They are “their” answers. Which they own and implement and align with.
Brainstroming and “what’s one more thing?”
Would you agree that in a brainstorming session we often come up with the best (most quircky) options after we thought we’d closed the session? When we encourage the creative juices to keep flowing in order to capture even the most outrageous of ideas to spawn further related ones. The ongoing use of “what’s one more thing” just keeps the mind focused that little bit longer in order to allow the hidden gems to still surface and to lead to additional insights and a much richer or fuller range of ideas and perspectives.
Anger and Jumping In
I have learned that a great strategy for dealing with an anger rant is to encourage them to keep venting so as to help them to get it all off their chest, until they are spent. Keeping complete silence, just nodding and giving them attention until they “run out of steam”. While never buying into their rant, it’s useful to empathise with their emotion and then to seek permission to summarize your understanding of their issue. It is often only at that point that some form of “reason” returns, and we can sensibly start to communicate with them again. Jumping in here would be disasterous, right?
Can you see the value of your responses being more considered? Can you hear how people might react differently to you when you allow more time to listen and get to the “right” outcome? Can you feel their improved engagement?
What if you could set a goal to develop this awareness and practise this technique and it worked for you?
Go on, ask yourself, what’s one more thing that this could be valuable for…