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As a higher and higher premium is placed on our time, it is increasingly difficult to resist the temptation to multi-task when holding conversations with others. The pace of professional life today seems to demand we stay in perpetual motion.
But pausing and listening deeply to our family, friends, employees, and customers offers an opportunity to gain much-needed perspective on the key puzzles and opportunities before us. Deep listening means carving out time to turn off the phone, laptop, PDA, and e-mail and clearing our minds of the day’s demands, deadlines, meetings, and fire drills. Making a practice of stepping off the action/result treadmill in this way allows you to discuss challenges in a calm enough state to hear the answers. Schedule time to do it this week. The new ideas and answers will flow and they will help you be more effective.