[Please excuse and typing errors. This is a direct transcription of the podcast for your benefit.]
In this podcast, I want to talk about what if you’re not prepared to get it wrong? Which might seem a little odd, but I do see people go through a stage where they don’t want to get ‘it’ wrong.
Yet, if we have this fear that we don’t want to get it wrong, we will never create anything new.
We won’t improve our decision-making skills. We won’t push our mental boundaries, and we certainly won’t inspire others.
How ‘Wrong’ Leads To Right
So confession time: I do dislike getting things wrong, making mistakes, totally screwing things up at times, most so when these things matter to me, and I really have to watch out for this, because there are moments when I’m aware that I’m making the choice to stay safe and play small.
The crazy thing is, I know that I learn more and faster when I’m not quite getting it right; when I’m experimenting and testing hypothesis, tools, techniques, or ideas.
Especially when I’m experimenting and testing.
I’m fine with errors and mistakes and things not working out first time or even the fifth time if each time I’m incorporating the feedback and data into my next interaction and attempt
…….. but I’ve noticed that sometimes my mindset isn’t so experimental. Sometimes my demands on myself leave no room for error, and then I’m not performing at my best, I might think I am, but I’m not!
Sometimes it’s easier to see the truth of this in others than ourselves.
Lesson From The Battlefield
There is a program that I run in which leaders set themselves goals they will achieve by the end of the week. What’s more, they’re going to be appraised of their performance that week.
Now, they do have some appreciation of the material they will be learning, but don’t know everything because if they did; why would they be there?
So, two goals related to the course fulfilled by the end of the week and the fun begins because some set passive goals; “I will understand collaborative leadership”.
All right, some set comfortable goals. They know that they can do it. They just want others to confirm they can.
Some set goals with a very predefined stretch in there, but they think they can do it, so “I will successfully practice giving difficult developmental feedback to one person” and others go, “Here’s my goal and as of now, I have got no idea how I’ll do it or if I’ll hit the success criteria I’ve picked, but I’m going to do it.”
What’s different is for some, the score at the end of the week matters, so they set goals they believe will allow them to get the score. Usually, they want to exceed so they’ve held back on the goal, so they can hopefully impress their peers.
Those who set stretching goals are more focused on learning, improving, and being a better leader back in their team or department. They’re seeking to learn from others and not just theoretically do something conceptual.
At the end, it’s not about the score, and they sometimes get that realization at the end. It’s not about the score. It’s about what they got from the week, and you hear less excuses as they go through the course.
However, the ones that set the stretching goals, not knowing how they were going to do it are also the participants who come to me at breaks and at lunch to ask questions.
I’d hear them run ideas past other people or myself. They’d ask for feedback, observations. They were richly seeking to practice and learn.
And at the end, I’ve never had anyone who stretched themselves, the ones who were prepared to make mistakes say they wish they had set smaller goals.
However, I have seen several who wished they’d put more skin in the game, even though they were offered those opportunities along the way……
At those choice points, getting it right was more important than getting the learnings that were on offer, and this is one of the learnings I reflect to them.
What you did this week, what’s your version of that back in the workplace?
Because they think it’s how often do you operate to be right rather than operate for results. In other words, are you putting the cart before the horse?
Is my thinking, what’s my desired results right now? What do I need to do? Know, prepare and then move into action, or is my thinking I want to get it right here. I want to get it right, so given what I know and can do, what action will I take?
Results don’t necessarily tend to feature.
Now in reality: we do both. Our development and growth are becoming more aware of which one we are ‘doing’ and under what circumstances and then we can spot our habits and patterns.
Now, if we’ve had a series of knocks, it’s easy to seek being right or getting it right because our confidence needs a boost and of course there are other ways we could do this; increasing our resilience being just one.
When that’s stronger, we’re more inclined to be okay with errors and pushing the boundaries. Until next time, go and experiment a bit more.
About blue pea POD
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