Why Your Next Major Event Starts When The Current One Ends?
Caring For How We Interact – Part 5
May I start this article with three examples of why you could benefit from lessons learned? When you return from a vacation or major event with family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, etc., take advantage of what you’ve discovered and can use for future travels or events. This is one of my favorite activities because it’s not just the post-work for one vacation; it’s the pre-work for your next vacation. It’s the lessons we learn that make our next experience free of past bad experiences.
For example, never short yourself on the lay-over in ATL. International travel takes time because customs. You may not want a car when visiting Boston. These experiences become more valuable when you plan your next getaway or travels.
You ever go to the beach without all the supplies you need? Like that battery operated fan to keep you cool or those pool water shoes so that your feet never touch the concrete. How about those special beach chairs other families have so that your family isn’t sitting on the cooler?
The Thought or Concept:
Many years ago when I was a consultant, we had the strangest meeting (so I thought) after the successful implementation of one of our team’s projects. We met all our deadlines, the client was pleased at the outcome and we’d already begun working on our next project. Then it hit my calendar, a meeting with this title, “lessons learned.” My first thoughts were, why would we need a “lessons learned” meeting when all went well? This sounds like something you’d do when the project brought us problems.
The requirement was this that each team member had to contribute at least one item to this “lessons learned” meeting. After some agonizing thinking, I was able to come up with a couple of items, still wondering what’s the benefit. After the meeting was held, I finally realized the benefits of holding a “lessons learned” meeting no matter how successful or unsuccessful the project was.
So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. – bible.com/bible/116/EPH.5.15-16.NLT
The same way our corporate team performed this “lessons learned” session, I encourage you to do the same in your home with your family. This is my list of benefits that come from holding your very own “lessons learned” meeting after every project no matter what the outcome.
See the things other people see that you don’t.
You get to see the things other people see that you don’t. After a family gathering, my brother has a way of engaging with us to see things that no one else sees. We begin to look at the activities differently. Every person has a perspective or point of view and you want to include as much of this thinking in planning your next get-together so that the event is even more enjoyable for all. This particular benefit allowed us to incorporate the actions and activities that a singular personality may not pick up on its own.
Eliminate frustrations encountered during the last project.
When dealing with extended family, it’s a breeding ground for frustrations, if you allow it. The more people you have the more opinions. So you must have a way to eliminate as many opportunities for frustrations as possible. The only way to do this is (right after your event is over) to list the frustrating moments your family encountered. Once you know these, begin to discuss how we can better approach, handle, resolve, and eliminate them the next time. In other words, what lesson did we learn?
Improve processes that you never think to improve.
So this is interesting. My family for years had done things the exact same way, year after year. No one ever thought to improve the process until my brother voiced how he felt about our beach trips. He dreaded them because we’d done such trips the same way each time. So after picking apart what was so dreadful to each person, it gave us the opportunity to improve the process. For example, we’d go to the beach and not have enough tents or umbrellas for everyone who’d like one, which was every one. So on the next beach trip we had it covered. Our process improved and the beach trip became a little more enjoyable.
Discover ways to do it better next time.
The internet is a powerful tool. Let’s just say that upfront. After you’ve been on one trip, make a list of the items you saw others had that you could find useful on your next get-together. That could be anything. The point is make a list from what you noticed or could use like a portable trash bag holder or a battery operated fan or portable propane gas heater or even enough hand warmers for every one when it’s extremely cold. It’s during our lessons learned sessions that we all made such suggestions and it makes all the difference in the world.
Identify the setbacks and pitfalls encountered so that we no longer encounter them.
In every family get-together, there are always setbacks and pitfalls. Maybe it’s that person who is always late and keeps you off schedule. Why continue to live with that when you can address it and put measures in place to eliminate such a setback? What about the person who doesn’t know when to stop? Or doesn’t know their own limitations? You know your family’s setbacks and pitfalls so plan for them. Whatever it is, discuss them in the “lessons learned” session so that you can at least address alternatives in how to handle it better.
I hope these benefits have sold you on having your own “lessons learned” sessions. There’s no reason to continue to have the same old results unless you continue to do it the same old way.
Today is Friday!
A “lessons learned” session sounds strange for families to do, but it’s a beneficial tool. Not only that it’s an extension of the event or activity that’s much needed if you want future events to be better than the last. You can have better by simply seeing it from others’ perspectives, eliminating frustrations, improving the process, discovering better ways, and identifying recurring setbacks and pitfalls. I forgot to say this at the start, but your life is your business. Businesses have “lessons learned” sessions for the reasons mentioned above. Therefore since they benefit from them so can you and your family.
Question: What areas do you have that create issues and are prime targets for a “lessons learned” session?
Until next Friday, thanks for visiting Kerry A. Clark & Co. If you enjoyed this article do me a favor, leave a comment below and share this with your family.