Withstand The Shorthand

We’re all looking for ways to save time. Let me suggest one way not to do it. Be very, very careful about thinking in shorthand.

Shorthand thinking is abbreviation of thought. You hear a word or see an image and from that split-second of time you allow your mind to fill in the rest, the things not seen or heard.

Here’s an example. You see a person pull into the drive-thru lane of a fast-food restaurant. If I could get you to say what you’d think next about what you’ve seen—what you might conclude—I’ll bet you would share a whole train of additional thoughts.

Same thing with hearing a person curse or perhaps listening to a particular song. What’s your short-hand thought? I know you’d probably have a few.

Maybe you’d be right. Maybe not. My point is that if you think in shorthand too much you’re diving far too deeply into assumptions and, sooner or later, stereotypes.

From a leadership perspective, shorthand thinking is a partial step toward a major mistake.

Find another way to save time. Shorthand thinking will cost time in the end.