This week has been a week of memories. One year on from that moment when my husband sat me down and said ‘We need a plan…’ and 25 years on from my very first day at Xerox. One of the things Xerox was known for was the quality of its training and I was fortunate to attend many great courses, particularly around sales and management. Much of what I learned still serves me today and helps me serve my clients. How do you sell without being pushy and awkward? How do you handle objections and manage relationships to achieve win-win outcomes? I still clearly remember being taught about the ‘Golden Silence’ and how to deal with frustrated clients! I’m fascinated by how we use our memories and how we learn.
“If you don’t ask, the answer is always no.” Nora Roberts
How do YOU learn?
Everything that we experience has an impact. We encounter ‘learning opportunities’ every single day. How many of them do we choose to act upon and how many do we let fade away into our subconscious? What are we doing with all these learnings? This past year has been a rollercoaster ride for most of us, but also an opportunity to ask ourselves some really meaningful questions. What have you learned in the past year? Some memories stay strong, despite the passing of the years – like my early sales training all those years ago!
One of the biggest inhibitors to learning is to say ‘I know that’, which is a way for our brains to shut off and move on. If you know it but don’t do it then you don’t really know it. This is as true for teams and organisations as it is for individuals. Before concluding that you know something, ask yourself if that knowledge is contained within your business or only in your head. Is it something that you and your business actually do, or simply something that you know?
Learning new things is a huge part of being a successful entrepreneur. But it takes time, and time is one of our most precious resources. Organisations learn as they develop and grow. As I discuss in my bestselling book ‘The REAL Entrepreneur’, creating a culture of learning by embracing mistakes is key to being able to successfully scale your business. Every mistake is an opportunity to learn, but any repetition shows that lessons are not being learned.
Here’s how to embrace mistakes in your business:-
🌟 Identify a process breakdown or overlapping task
🌟 Recognise the value of finding the ‘mistake’
🌟 Celebrate the opportunity this presents
🌟 Reward openness in your team
🌟 Increase awareness by keeping a record of each mistake
🌟 Figure out what went wrong in a factual way
🌟 Do not attach blame
🌟 Fix the problem
🌟 Look at how to improve the process
🌟 Focus on prevention – each mistake should occur only once!
It’s completely unrealistic to expect yourself to know everything or be able to do everything. Please be kind to yourself and if you’d like to talk through the choices you’re facing or any blockers in your business, let me know.
Lisa Zevi – March 2021