As I teach in How to Use Feedback and Criticism Constructively, every experience is fodder for growth and development, if you are willing to get the learning. Assessing and adjusting as you go will make you more successful, because the ability to be flexible and adapt to changing conditions is a key success principle. So, the concept of “Get the Learning” is both useful in your immediate ability to function as well as ensuring your long-term success. The first step of this Key is to be asking yourself, as the Former New York Mayor, Ed Koch, was famous for asking, “How am I doing?” Here are a few questions you can use to evaluate how you’re doing:
- What accomplishments and successes did I have today? (no accomplishment is too small)
- What did I think I’d be able to accomplish, but didn’t, and what a) got in the way and/or b) did I choose to do instead?
- What worked and didn’t work, today?
- What were the choices I made and how do I feel about those choices? What could I have done differently?
- What resources did I use and what resources could I have used that might have enabled me to achieve more?
- What obstacles did I overcome and how did I overcome them?
- What am I proud of myself for and what I am I grateful for?
These questions can be asked on a daily basis and they can also be asked at the end of the period or project as you look back at what happened. Once you’ve answered these questions – and I think it’s useful to write your answers down – you must follow it up with these two critical questions:
- What are the over-arcing lessons and principles I can take away from today? (These should be the larger concepts that can be applied to multiple areas of your life)
- As a result of these learnings what adjustments or changes am I going to implement tomorrow?
If you approach each day and each challenge with the mind of a student, solidify the learnings and then apply those changes in the future, you will be able to rise to any challenge, adapt to any change and succeed in business and in life. What lessons did you learn today?