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The next time you stumble on, say, how to make a penny ball that repels slugs, make sure you share it with your husband, the gardener, by using a technique reported on by Adam Bryant in Quick and Nimble: Lessons from Leading CEOs on How to Create a Culture of Innovation.He writes: Dear Chase, First off, terrific website.I haven't found anything on the web like the quality of articles you write and the depth you explore.Some of the spouses simply guessed (e.g.,"Ernie would never use a credit card! Others had to write about a typical day in their partner's life, and then "put themselves in his or her shoes" before predicting (e.g., "Ernie works so hard all day at the bank, and he resents even paying five dollars for lunch; he would never use a credit card.") The result: Those who tried to imagine the other's perspective were less accurate than those who winged it—confirming Epley's real-life experience of giving his dolphin-loving wife a day of caring for the animals at the aquarium, not realizing that, since she'd just had a baby, she would not enjoy the binding, full-body wetsuit.While understanding that your partner may have a different take than you is helpful, he writes in Mindwise: How We Understand What Others Think, Believe, Feel, and Want, you don't always imagine your partner's actual "different take." The best way to get your partner's point of view, he says, is to simply—oh yes, you saw this coming—ask for it.... Because sure, you want to pounce on him when you catch him in a jerky act—smoking a cigarette out the window?
The idea being to create a (literal) picture of the past that illustrates what to do—or not to do—in your future.