Is That The Best You Can Do?

Nick Hitting 2015My business is helping people. Sometimes that means giving them “the answer” to their problems. Most times it means helping them discover the answer for themselves. Focusing on the second part is better for the client. The process of discovering the solution is more valuable than the actual remedy.

One of my favorite methods for issue resolution comes directly from my experience as a dad.

My children are at an age when they have an infinite number of activities available to them. We are fortunate enough where we can enroll them in just about anything they select. My wife and I place two conditions on enrolling in an activity: 1). If you sign-up, you must complete an entire season, even if you find out this activity is not for you. 2). You must always give your best effort: In rehearsal and in a show, in practice and in a game.

The first rule was easy for the kids to comprehend. We explained that participation was their choice. Once they choose something, withdrawing has consequences for many people involved: The team, the coaches, the people who have adjusted their schedule to watch them play/perform, etc.   They got it and to date, they have never asked to quit anything.

Adherence to the second rule was more difficult. My seven year-old son is learning about this everyday as he works on his baseball skills. One day I was pitching batting practice to him and my four year-old daughter was using our video camera to record him. After we finished we reviewed the recording. My son was making some mistakes with his swing. Things we were working on but he had not yet perfected. On the recording, my daughter said, into the camera:

“Nick, is that the best you can do?”

My son, stepped away from home plate, glared in the direction of the camera for a brief second, and then began hitting again.

His swing was terrific for the remainder of the practice.

That scene filled me with pride. My kids get it. Life is about the effort you bring to the moment. It’s about the effort you bring to each activity.

When I walk into a client’s office and they show me a problem they have, and they explain the process, I often find the process is not broken. It is the application of the process that leaves much to be desired.

The next time you feel like you’re not getting the results you expect, ask yourself:

“Is that the best you can do?

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