Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Consider All Ideas To Get Better

How often have we been in a meeting when someone came up with an idea, immediately followed by feedback from colleagues with a slew of reasons regarding why the idea won't work? This happens every day in most workplaces but do you also realize that we put the same limits on ourselves as individuals all the time?

We use phrases like "but what about" or "what happens if" to mirror our fear......our fear of failure. There is safety in doing things the way it has always been done. No risk of making a mistake or taking a chance.

We could learn a lot by looking at how babies and children learn. Why aren't they afraid of making mistakes or trying new things? The reason is that they have never been told that it is a bad thing to take a chance, in fact we encourage it. When babies are taking their first step we make the biggest fuss over them, clap our hands and heap praise on them to encourage them. Children come to realize that the ONLY way they learn is to try everything, so they do. They want to touch, and taste and smell everything.

So this spectre of fear of making mistakes and trying new things is a learned behavior, while the greatest rewards come to those who take chances and discover new ideas. That's why the marketplace rewards those so greatly who foster innovation and knowledge. If we want to reap the rewards why not learn all you can and try new things.

The flip side of every risk is opportunity, so why not look for the side with the opportunity. When someone presents a new idea why not balance all thoughts about why something won't work with all the ideas about why it "could" work. That way you'll be able to effectively evaluate the true risk/reward of the idea. We make such decisions all the time with our investments in the stock market. Now it's time to do the same with your investment in yourself.

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