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You’ve heard the English proverb “measure twice, cut once”*
It was originally coined by carpenters or stonemasons, I guess, but I first heard it when, as a young man, I was working as a cutter in the garment manufacturing industry.

In any of these trades, rectifying carelessness can be costly and time-consuming. The proverb is an important reminder, particularly if you are in a hurry, that precision and accuracy now, can avoid much time wasted later.

I think this principle also applies to listening. In my workshops over the years, when demonstrating active listening, I’ve heard comments that attendees have busy jobs and they just wouldn’t have time to listen as I’m suggesting.

My response has always been the same; the busier you are, the more vital it is that you listen with all your senses. Check that you have understood correctly, before responding.


* One should double-check one’s measurements for accuracy before cutting a piece of wood; otherwise it may be necessary to cut again, wasting time and material.


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