Thursday, 15 December 2016

Mistakes, I've made a few


An article I put up on LinkedIn today. 
A "something to think about whilst you're at work" post this time.

Over the past few weeks, the subject of negative focus has lifted its head again as it often does when we all get tired and are looking toward that well earned, well deserved Christmas and New Year summer break. 

Pina collada's, walks in the rain. 
Y'know what I'm saying.

When I say "negative focus" I'm not talking about a general boiling cauldron of troubled culture in any work place or anything like that. No, not even close. 

This negativity occurs where we start to focus on problems and mistakes much more than the positive aspects of what we do, how we do it and what we could do.
I've said this a few times in past posts (see "Got Anxiety? Read This") in an attempt to change our mindset, especially at this time of year. 
This picture is one I found on the inter-web quite a while back. 
It's so good that I began incorporating its lesson into any teaching/coaching sessions here and off site too, where valid.

Yes. You read that right. Made no mistakes? Then what limits did you push?  

See, mistakes are important. If you never make any, how do you learn what works and what doesn't? 
If you're not making mistakes, how are you really challenging the things you do? 

Answer? It's likely you're not.

A boss of mine has asked on many occasions "what's the worst thing that can happen?" whenever someone has suggested an idea. 
I learnt after the first few times she asked me that this question seemed to serve three purposes. 

1. Will anyone die if we do it? 

2. Will anyone die if we don't do it? 
Legitimate concerns. But there was also a third reason.

3. Not only does this simple question serve as an immediate impact consideration assessment, but its also a great challenge to throw (some) caution to the wind and to take a chance. 

In this simple question (which I urge you to adopt by the way) my boss was also asking for the person concerned, to try. To take a calculated risk. To risk making a mistake. 
But of course, as long as no one was going to die.

And this ladies and gentlemen, this is how a business can move forward.

Please consider the Samurai picture and my boss's question. 

If you're looking at a process and see a potential opportunity to make it better, don't you owe it to the business (and yourself) to try to make it better or at the bare minimum, at least talk about it with someone invested in the result?
Yes! Of course you should! 

Innovation is crucial part of any businesses success.
Can you successfully innovate if you don't try anything new? Nope, kinda defeats the word itself.

Quick few questions you should ask yourself. 
1. Are you holding yourself back? 
2. Do you prefer to do the "tried and tested" way because "thats the way we've always done it"? You know it works, its safe. 
3. As a manger or a leader, are you treating any mistakes your staff make like catastrophic cases of pulling us closer to financial ruination?

Considering what you have just read higher up, what would happen if you stop doing that?

We are all guilty of stepping out sometimes when we should be stepping in. 
If you or your staff members are too afraid to take calculated risks or make mistakes just in case you/they embarrass yourself/themselves, then its time to stop that. 

Join me in stepping forward.

Mistakes - when owned and learnt from - can form badges of honour, help you to take the knocks they provide and assist you in growing to be more, to be better. 

We all have big goals ahead of us in 2017 and beyond and its going to take calculated risks and mistakes to learn from, to get there. 

Learning from them and challenging the norms will be the most likely method to push you and your business forward to where you need to go.

Look at the negative focus things differently, starting today. 
Try the new ideas. 

I mean after all...

What's the worst that could happen?