Last Thursday, I was expecting to meet a friend for coffee. It had been too long since we last caught up, and I was very much looking forward to our conversation. When he called to say there had been a change of circumstance at his end of the equation, I immediately assumed he wanted to postpone our getting together. That assumption led me to suggest the following week at the same time and place. He agreed, somewhat hesitantly, and we said our goodbyes.

A few minutes later, it occurred to me that I may have completely missed the purpose of the phone call. Rather than cancel or postpone, I wondered if he was going to invite another person to join us. Given the changed circumstance, that now made perfect sense, and prompted a much better idea.

I immediately texted him, he enthusiastically responded, and a half hour later I was on my way to meet two friends for coffee.

About a year ago, an author told me, “You have an intuitive sense of what’s behind the words,” but last Thursday, I was so busy jumping to conclusions that I didn’t listen to what my friend was actually saying.

Instead of making assumptions and jumping to conclusions, take the time to look behind the words and listen to what is being said. In my experience, it can make a big difference for you and those you are planning to meet for coffee.