Many of you know that my wife, Nina, and I very much enjoy live theater. One of the reasons I do is that it is a lot like running a small business. There are many lessons to be learned from listening to theater folks talk about their craft. 

We were listening to Tasso Feldman, a member of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival company, who we knew was an actor. Tasso mentioned that he has been a director several times.

One of the points he made was that, as a director, he needed to get to know the actors he was working with before starting to direct them. He often takes two weeks for this to take place in the early stages of working on the production. Why? All the people involved in the production came together, each with their own unique take on how to approach the play they were working on. How could Tasso provide meaningful direction to someone that he did not really understand?

Tasso’s point made me think of Habit #5 from Stephen Covey’s book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Covey, too, makes the point that instead of one trying to focus on getting one’s own point across it is best to take a bit of time to really “get” the other person’s perspective first.

As remodeling company owners and people who work in remodeling companies you always feel you are under the gun. You often feel you simply don’t have the time to understand the other person’s perspective.

Nothing good be further from the truth. Slow down to go fast. Build a foundation of trust with those you work with and watch the great performances that occur!