Several years ago, after I did a presentation over lunch at Gotham City Networking, Inc., Fred Klein, Gotham’s founder, called me a thin-slicer. Fred was referring to Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink, where he defined thin-slicing as when “our unconscious is able to find patterns in situations and behavior based on very narrow slices of experience.” Some people—and according to Fred, I am one of them—are better thin-slicers than others. I find that many entrepreneurs are thin slicers; they don’t need reams of analysis to come to a conclusion. This is a trait that makes them successful, particularly as entrepreneurs.
Of course, there are plenty of sharp people who are not thin-slicers, and there are plenty of sharp people who like to take their time in explaining things. I’ll admit that when those people speak with me, I get very frustrated, which leads to me becoming fidgety and cutting them off. I don’t mean to cut them off, but I had all the information that I needed two minutes ago. Or sometimes I start moving my arms in a circular motion which is really me prompting them to get to the point—I don’t need all that background.
It would be very convenient for me to say, ‘Well, these people need to get to the point and respect my time (especially attorneys when the meter is running).’ Well, maybe once in a while. But I am starting to realize that my inability to temper my impatience (due to the fact that I have already come to a conclusion) is something that I need to work on. And not only do I need more patience when people are speaking to me, but I also need to elaborate a little more when explaining things to people.
Did you get that? Can we move on?
Robert Levin is the Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of The New York Enterprise Report. Levin has extensive experience with midsize and small businesses, having previously held CEO, CFO, and COO positions with companies in several industries. He is also a contributor for The Huffington Post. Levin can be reached at email@example.com and (212) 307-6760.