In his awesome podcast called WorkLife, Adam Grant speaks of a time when he was learning flipboard diving. One time he thought he did an awesome dive, with two-and-a-half flips, and was so proud of himself – until he got the judges’ scores. A lowly 2, 2 and 1.5. When he watched the video of his jump, he realized how close to a pathetic belly-flop it really was.
His question to himself then became – why am I unable to evaluate myself better? Is it because he is so immersed in the moment? Yes, was his conclusion. And it is similar in our daily lives too. The more caught up we are in our busy schedules, the lesser we realize that we may be erring on more than occasion. The real challenge? That it prevents us from reaching our full potential.
Being open to and maybe even loving criticism could be a way out. We don’t want to all stay the same way forever do we? No promotion and no bonus for the next 20 years – sounds terrible. Of course we each want to grow and learn.
Bridgewater Associates, the hedge fund we discussed yesterday, makes sure to record both audio and video of every single of their meetings. This is so that everyone is encouraged to go back and watch themselves and others, and learn to improve themselves, and take feedback constructively. Would we benefit from a similar exercise? Would we be able to stomach it?