James Piecowye thinking out loud

Ideas, inspiration and a bit of random.

Nice Lesson

Posted on | March 8, 2014 | No Comments

A question I have been asked, a lot, is how to get the most out of the things I teach and talk about.

Honestly, I say listen and take notes.

Now I have another idea.

Do you ever read Medium?

Saturday morning I opened my email and clicked on a great story that could be a nice easy key to getting the most out of what I do, give away ideas and information.

At a later point I will talk about the idea of giving away what I do. Currently I teach which is not a give-away as you need to be in my class and that is a cost. Nightline might be a give-away of sorts but I need to bring more of the education element to the mix.

Reading Medium I cam across this great story, The 30 Second Habit with a Lifelong Impact.

Simple, easy, effective and something that many of us have been doing without thinking, immediately after any interaction write down what was important or what was of interest or the action item.

Robyn Scott has learned 7 things from making notes on interactions so far.

  1. It’s not note taking: Don’t think, just because you write down everything in a meeting, that you’re excused from the 30 second summation. Though brief, this exercise is entirely different from taking notes. It’s an act of interpretation, prioritisation and decision-making.


  1. It’s hard work: Deciding what’s most important is exhausting. It’s amazing how easy it is to tell yourself you’ve captured everything that matters, to find excuses to avoid this brief mental sprint?—?a kind of 100 metres for your brain.


  1. Detail is a trap: Precisely because we so often, ostensibly, capture everything, we avoid the hard work of deciding what few things count. So much of excellence is, of course, the art of elimination. And the 30 second review stops you using quantity as an excuse.


  1. You must act quickly: If you wait a few hours, you may recall the facts, but you lose the nuance. And this makes all the difference in deciding what matters. Whether it’s the tone in someone’s voice, or the way one seemingly simple suggestion sparks so many others, or the shadow of an idea in your mind triggered by a passing comment.


  1. You learn to listen better, and ask better questions: Once you get into the habit of the 30 second review, it starts to change the way you pay attention, whether listening to a talk or participating in a discussion. It’s like learning to detect a simple melody amidst a cacophony of sound. And as you listen with more focus, and ask better questions which prompt actionable answers, so your 30 second review becomes more useful.


  1. You’re able to help others more: Much of what makes the 30 second cut are observations about what matters to other people. Even if the purpose is to help better manage different interests in future conversations, it also helps you understand others’ needs, and so solve their problems. This does not surprise me: in months of interviewing people who make generous connections, I’ve been struck by how many have their own unconscious version of the 30 second review: focused on the question of how best they can help.


  1. It gets easier and more valuable: Each time you practice, it gets a little easier, a little more helpful, and little more fun.

S0, why don’t you try it?

Let me know what you learn about yourself and your interactions after 30 days!



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