Fundamental of the Week #23: Practice Recovery

When mistakes or errors in judgement happen, “own it.” Take the necessary steps to communicate to the appropriate parties, acknowledge your accountability, and set corrective steps in motion. “Get back in the game” quickly.

We can get sideswiped easily! In our practice, we talk about blind spots a lot and often use the metaphor of blind spots in cars, which often get revealed when the auto comes into contact with something unseen. Well, like autos, I can get knocked off my game by unexpected occurrences.

A few years back, I was headed downtown for a meeting I was looking forward to and prepped to be fully engaged in. I didn’t see the piece of concrete curb that had fallen into the street. Bam! Bam! I suddenly found myself sitting in a busy street with two flat tires. I did manage to get my car around the corner into the parking lot of a business I knew and I did make the meeting, sort of. For the next few hours I was sitting at the meeting, but my brain was back at the parking lot, “how did I not see that hunk of curb, these are expensive tires, what will this cost me, how do I get the tire people and car together, how long will I not have my car?” My attention was at the parking lot, not the meeting, and it was my meeting.

That is just a simple example of a lifetime of such experiences.
Our internal dialogue, that incessant chattering, is pretty much on auto-pilot. I continue to discover that it takes real effort and discipline to not get sucked in. Like getting sucked into beeps on our cellphone. As I improve my skill to notice when I am tuning out, I likewise improve my skill to recover and get back in the game.

Noticing when I start to tune out is definitely the first step, but it is also the doorway to taking effective action about staying focused on the task at hand. Beyond my own self-interest, I am usually engaged with a group of people to whom I owe my best effort. Being aware, doing my best, is something I’m obliged to give them and I expect the same in return.

Craig Clark
Founder and CEO,
Momentum Consulting, Inc