All it takes is 5 minutes!

All it takes is 5 minutes!

If an organisation could teach only one thing to its employees, what single thing would have the most impact? This question was posed to Peter Bregman, who writes for at Harvard Business Review. His answer was immediate and clear: “teach people how to learn. How to look at their past behaviour, figure out what worked, and repeat it while admitting honestly what didn’t and change it.”

If a person can do that well, everything else takes care of itself. That’s how people become life-long learners. And it’s how companies succeed. It requires confidence, openness, and letting go of defenses. But here’s what it doesn’t require: much time.

It only takes a few minutes. About five really. A brief pause at the end of the day to consider what worked and what didn’t.

Bregman goes on to propose that before leaving your business each day, save five minutes and look at your calendar – compare what actually happened — the meetings you attended, the work you got done, the conversations you had, the people with whom you interacted, even the breaks you took — with your plan for what you wanted to have happen. Then ask yourself three sets of questions:

How did the day go? What success did I experience? What challenges did I endure?
What did I learn today? About myself? About others? What do I plan to do — differently or the same — tomorrow?
Who did I interact with? Anyone I need to update? Thank? Ask a question? Share feedback?
This last set of questions is invaluable in terms of maintaining and growing relationships. It takes just a few short minutes to shoot off an email — or three — to share your appreciation for a kindness someone extended, to ask someone a question, or to keep someone in the loop on a project.

Are you learning from what didn’t work today?

Are you celebrating what worked today and repeating it tomorrow?

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