Separating interpretations from observations sounds like an easy task, but is more difficult in practice. We think of ourselves as reliable, objective and neutral narrators whose observations are true. However, our own interpretative framework always affects our observations.
You’d think it’s obvious whether someone is listening to me or whether I’m listening or not. Yet I’ve repeatedly stumbled into disagreements about listening in my personal life, at work and in literature.
Perfectionism may lead to exhaustion and stagnation, and it can hinder learning and development, impede progress, and cause procrastination, anxiety and stress. But how can you get rid of it?
Simply put, summarizing is repeating the other person’s narrative to them briefly and in your own words. Let’s delve a bit deeper, though: why, how and for what purpose you can use summarizing.
In my everyday life, I’ve noticed that the most usable model for giving feedback is a simple observation + impact model. It’s simple enough to be understandable and still demanding enough that you have to think about how you give feedback.
“Other people’s behaviour doesn’t make us angry? Of course it does. It happens almost every day!” We are accustomed to thinking that it is people’s behaviour that makes us angry and thus, that it is bad behaviour. In reality, our reaction is not universal or inevitable.
Many secretly view perfectionism as a good thing. However, this perception is flawed. Perfectionism is not driven by a healthy desire to excel as a professional and produce high-quality work. Instead, at the core of perfectionism lies an incessant fear of inadequacy.
Are there too many people in the meetings you attend, just to be safe? Is there no agenda, the topic is unclear and no one quite knows what’s the point of the meeting? Is no one listening but doing other work during the meeting? Let’s save the meetings!
Speakers and trainers often receive very good if incredibly general questions from their audiences. It took me a long time to realise why answering these always felt like grasping at straws and why the asker didn’t always seem very pleased with the answer.
Sometimes you just can’t get your point across. You get frustrated. The other person harps on and on, and sticks to their own point like week-old chewing gum. How many times, and in how many different ways, must you express something before it’s finally accepted?