Slowing Down to Get on the Same Page with Others Faster
Most of us have heard from leaders, managers, parents, or significant others—or thought to ourselves—“we need to get on the same page.”
Often, the person speaking wants to increase team alignment on an important problem or strategy and believes a simple discussion can accomplish that goal.
This sounds like a simple and obvious plan. It is never easy for two parties to get or stay “on the same page” when that means close collaboration on a complex plan to address important issues. The parties sometimes find themselves on entirely different pages, trying to figure out how they got so far apart. Often, the elements of time and life’s storms have interfered with all parties’ best intentions. Navigating back to a “safe harbor” for working and living together can be daunting.
More often than not, “getting on the same page.” is camouflaged under the tarp of a desire for consensus. Often, we settle for asking rhetorical questions to see if others can arrive at the “correct answers,” which are veiled attempts to persuade others to our own way of thinking.
Slowing down to take the time to understand our individual positions—where we are and want to be—regarding a single, specific situation can accelerate creative cooperation to get on the same page with others faster.
When all parties can openly describe and share their perspectives of an important situation with a win-win spirit and all involved are respectful and nonjudgmental, the conversations can be game-changing.
Changing “We need to Get on the Same Page” to “We want to Get on the Same Page” moves problems and discussions toward same page partnership. It’s often counterintuitive to slow down in the heat of an urgent situation, an emotionally charged discussion, or the frustration of not being on the same page with a colleague, partner, or team. Slowing down to go faster. What?
“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response.”
– Victor Frankl
The wrong comment in the heat of the moment can extinguish all previous constructive communication in important conversations.
Remembering and practicing “pausing before responding” is simple to say but not always easy to do—especially when the other party is not practicing the same technique.
The word responsibility offers a great mnemonic: response-ability. It’s been said that humans are the only species that can choose to pause before responding.
Our daily lives are busy; it can feel overwhelming to fulfill all of our roles and responsibilities. Some days, we feel super productive; other days, our energy is depleted.
It’s often easier to focus on and complete urgent tasks than to work on important relationships, sometimes including the tension between our own feelings, beliefs, and thoughts.
Getting things done feels good. We can tally up our completed items and feel accomplished. More check marks feel like an effective use of our time.
Getting on the Same Page with others can feel messy—it takes time, and keeping score can have adverse consequences in important relationships. Proactively making time for important relationships will benefit us for a lifetime.
The CoreSelf Framework provides simple, effective tools to get on the same page with oneself and others. Slowing down to take inventory of our emotions, values, and plans can accelerate same-page partnerships for all parties.