“Experience is terrific. It allows us to make our mistakes with far more finesse the next time around.”
Anonymous, who is one smart cookie
You know the other saying about mistakes, right? “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”
There is something in all this about making mistakes.
Not WHY we make them, but HOW we make them.
When we make a mistake, we should learn from that mistake and do better next time. No real surprise there … solid learning theory.
I think Anonymous is onto something with this idea about finesse. We tend to approach our “learning experiences”, as I like to call my mistakes, with the idea that we will never be that dumb again. We set our bar rather high. We think we need to do things perfectly, once we have done them imperfectly.
However, real learning does not work like that.
Learning tends to come in increments, with often small changes in our behavior as we slowly adjust to more effective ways of doing things, rather than the “Bad to Good” easy one-step change we envision.
This often works better in the long run, because you are doing two things:
1) Avoiding that crash when your one-step total change doesn’t work out.
2) Building a solid base for continual change and improvement.
Now, apply this to how you help those for whom you are responsible change. Small, steady steps forward and upward, until they have learned and embraced the habit of continual small improvements. You have then created a learning machine and a valuable employee.
Once you accept the idea that change is incremental, you have freed yourself to take small steps to change. This takes some pressure off … you can do a little change every day easier than one big change.
After all, we do not try to reach the top of the stairs in one step, do we?
Thinking about teeny-weeny improvements in my own backyard in the Heartland ….
Image: Milad Mosapoor