In close relationships that we have, whether personal or business, being able to anticipate the next move of your partner can be very powerful.
For example, in the show “The Good Place”, Chidi realizes the depth of his relationship with Eleanor when she’s able to unconsciously anticipate his upcoming sneeze. Here’s a short clip of that:
While that was a great example of a personal connection, it’s powerful in business relationships as well, and I’ve noticed where Ali has been able to read my mind in a couple of recent situations.
- We were at lunch with some local business friends, and they began to question if Facebook might be listening to them. (No, they’re not.)
- A few weeks later, we were with a group of web folks, and the question of “should I put a link to my design studio at the bottom of my client’s websites?” came up. (And no, you absolutely should not.)
In both cases Ali simply smiled, sat back, and waited for me to share my thoughts with the group. She knew exactly what my response would be, and she gave me space to share my ideas. No words between us were needed.
Where it really matters
Those were some fun examples, but they really didn’t mean much in the grand scheme of things. Where this perhaps matters more is during situations such as negotiations with clients, where we can anticipate where the other might be better suited to handle a particular question from the client.
In either case, whether personal or professional, it’s really just a matter of putting in the reps. Listen to each other, learn from each other, and pay attention to what matters. I don’t know of any good shortcuts, but both of those relationships in my life (a 20 year marriage and a 13 year business partner) have enough hours behind them to help make this kind of magic appear fairly often.