Literal mode is appropriate when discussing how things work, but connected mode is essential for deciding what it will accomplish. When our business colleagues are excitedly imagining a possible future, focusing on mechanics feels like we're crushing their dreams.
The first step to becoming a more flexible listener is to analyze the nature of every conversation and recognize which mode fits best for that moment. When you've mastered this, you'll find that you get invited to be part of more conversations where important decisions are made.
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