When my son was little, he knew that he could work my wife and I over and get a lot more what he wanted in a couple of different ways. Sometimes, involves being particularly “good.” Sometimes, on tantrum.
He was pretty sophisticated and figure it out that if you worked over someone else’s parent, he might get that parent to do the dirty work for him of working us over so he got what he wanted. We figure that one out!
Each time, he felt good about his success and was happy that he got what he wanted.
In US culture, we spend a lot of time celebrating our successes and how wonderful we are. We also spent a lot of time criticizing ourselves for our failures.
But what are these failures professionally?
Most of the time, they translated into, just like they did with my son, “I didn’t get what I wanted.”
Zig Ziglar used to say, “You can have everything in life that you want by helping other people get what they want out of life.”
Yes, a simple and profound statement.
But we tend to focus on our trophies, our successes, our wins, and losses with no attention to improvement.
How do you get better unless you take the time to reflect upon your previous performance?
As a coach, one thing I try to do is spend time between sessions to think about my performance and see where I could have done it differently. I think about what caused me to make the suggestion that I did. I think about how the person I’m coaching responded to the suggestion or to the questions that I asked. It’s from that that I learn ways to get better.
The ideal place to identify areas of improvement is before the decision is made by the other person. In this way, we are not affected by their decision but can critique ourselves and see what we could have done differently.
Through self-reflection, we can learn.
Through coaching, we can talk it through with someone else and learn from them and their insights.
However you do it, professionals learn continually.
They want to get better at their craft.
It is a craft if you take it seriously.
There’s an old saying that if you watch the pennies they become nickels. If you watch the nickels, they become quarters and if you watch the quarters they become dollars.
That’s how we become professionals and not just quality amateurs.
Ⓒ The Big Game Hunter, Inc., Asheville, NC 2020
ABOUT JEFF ALTMAN, THE BIG GAME HUNTER
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1900 episodes, and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.
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