Have you been paying attention?

An excuse to promote one of my favourite TV shows. I’ll try to squeeze Gogglebox into future posts! Image credit: Working Dog Productions

An excuse to promote one of my favourite TV shows. I’ll try to squeeze Gogglebox into future posts! Image credit: Working Dog Productions

It has been an intense couple of weeks for me since I was in touch and there are some lessons that I’d like to share.

My daughter got very sick. You don’t need details, but I’m talking high levels of care in hospital sick. For any parent, it is about as scary as it gets. The very good news is that while it was intense, it was not chronic (I have a new level of respect for parents caring for chronically ill children). She is back at school and just about fully recovered. While she was unwell, the rest of my life stopped. Work stopped, social commitments stopped, my study commitments stopped. My sole focus was our family and helping in any way that I could.

This experience was some of the strongest feedback that I could imagine receiving about what is important in my life. That is my family and the incredible support network of family and close friends that helped us get through. The reason that I am sharing this with you is that one of my key realisations was simple:

If I am doing the same things in my life a month or a quarter or a year from now…then I have forgotten this experience.

There are three things that need to happen for this to be information that improves my future performance (my definition of effective feedback) and have this event change my life for the better.

  1. I need to pay attention to this experience and my reflections. While it’s raw and fresh, that is not difficult. As time passes and life returns to normal, it will become more difficult. I will need to continue to remember this.

  2. I need to take action. I need to use this experience to inform decisions and execute on those decisions. In this example, I need to remember that I choose to prioritise the health of my family over other things and decline business or social options if they compromise that.

  3. I need to live it. I need to consistently take these actions and have this become a lens that I view the world through and a way that I live my life.

The reason I share this with you is to highlight that feedback comes in many forms and is abundant. It’s not always the smack in the face that I have received recently. Chances are that there is information that can help you get better that you are simply not paying attention to.

So, my questions for you to consider are:

  1. What valuable information is available to you that you are not paying attention to?

  2. How can you take action on that information to help improve your performance?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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