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"A lazy man works with a long thread to save labor, 

But it ended in a big tangle, and double work!"

Girls' craft class (it used to be like this...), 5th grade. I'm quite bored in class, and excuse me, Habiva, the art teacher. But this poster, with this sentence, which hangs high on the wall in the classroom for the whole year, catches my eye every time. I disconnect from the embroidery, or the knitting, or the activity that is very important to life that I was doing at that moment in the girls' craft class,   and sail away from the class thinking about the meaning of things..."A lazy person works with a long thread to save labor, but it ends in a big tangle and double work!"

What does it mean? This sentence accompanies me to this day, in life in general and in my work as an organizational consultant in particular. We all have a tendency to look for "shortcuts". See how it can be done faster, shorter, more efficient, more focused, save time...

In the world of interpersonal communication, it doesn't work. In building relationships - there are no shortcuts.

in management. "Resolve" interpersonal disputes in emails. How many times have I encountered unnecessary conflicts in an email sent by people in the organization? Whether between a manager and his employee, or between colleagues. Disputes that could be resolved in a few minutes of conversation, face to face or even on the phone. "But I don't have time!" The managers tell me. "There are so many things I have to get done!". and a light hand on the keyboard. And as the sentence on the board says: "...But it ended in a big tangle, and double work!" And a small dispute turns into a big conflict, sometimes creative and political.

in customer service. When dealing with a complex client, one tries to cut short the road: stop him, go with him immediately to a solution, be "assertive" (in quotation marks, because  many confuse aggression with assertiveness)... "But I don't have time!" The service providers tell me. "I am measured on response time!" "...But it ended in a big tangle, and double work!" As we already understood, And a customer with a small request or distress becomes angry, aggressive and sometimes violent. 

In the world of interpersonal communication and the relationships we manage in organizations (ongoing relationships - such as a co-worker, or random - such as an occasional customer), the "long" way is actually the most efficient and shortest: to listen. Let him vent his anger, rage, frustration. Lead the conversation in the right way so that you can help him and give him an answer. Produce a short conversation with the employee / colleague. Face to face or on the phone. knock on the door for a moment and enter. Invite her to have lunch together.

And these are just a few examples. Our lives in the world of work are filled with many and varied examples.


In a world where speed is the name of the game, interpersonal communication still relies on the good old psychology: people are people and there are no shortcuts. Relationships take time to build. Disputes will not be resolved via WhatsApp or email. The long way is ultimately the shortest way.

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