“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
– George Bernard Shaw

I highly recommend that before you begin an important conversation with a colleague, take a few minutes to write down your comments and/or your questions. I’m willing to bet that as you begin to write you will change a few words, rethink a position or have a great new idea to add to your original thoughts. You’ll most likely choose your words more carefully too. You will also be much more in tune during the actual conversation since you are very well prepared. The end result will be a much improved interaction and a simpler path to the results you’re trying to achieve. Try it for yourself. It’s a solid candidate for a new best practice.