This website covers topics on knowledge management, personal effectiveness, theory of constraints, amongst other topics. Opinions expressed here are strictly those of the owner, Jack Vinson, and those of the commenters.

First, understand. Then, understand some more

Mary Abraham reminds us that Persistence Pays ... when applied correctly.

... When seeking collaboration or cooperation, it is not enough merely to be persistent or to impose your views through sheer determination. By doing so, you undercut the very ground on which collaboration is based. Rather, take the time to establish understanding and trust with your proposed collaboration partner. We've heard time and again how critical trust is to collaboration. It's equally important for good professional relationships which, in turn, are critical to your success.

As I read her post, I couldn't help thinking about various golden rules

  • Do unto others as you would have them do unto you (Sermon on the Mount).
  • Seek first to understand, than to be understood (St. Francis, Covey).
  • Become genuinely interested in other people (Dale Carnegie #4).
  • Be sympathetic with the other person's ideas and desires (Dale Carnegie #18).  [In fact, just about any of Dale Carnegie's 21 principles for How to Win Friends and Influence People.]

All of these have some version of getting into the craw of my partner, friend, or adversary.  The better I understand the people I'm working with, the better the chance I have for positive outcomes.  If I think the guy is a jerk, there is very little chance that we are going to come to useful understandings.  If I can learn a little about his history, either directly or through some of our colleagues, we have a much better chance of success. 

Personally, I have found some of my bigger "ah hah's" when I finally "get" why someone acts the way they do.

Be persistent in understanding the other side of the fence.

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