Last time, I talked about a way to evaluate your day without creating a big ol’ Blame ‘n Shame.
Today, I want to give you another blameless tool for evaluating pretty much anything.
In my corporate job, we had a practice of doing post-mortems after projects or initiatives. Sounds pretty morbid, but it’s actually a pretty healthy practice. It just means that you take some time at the end of a project, task, or basically any major milestone, to reflect, evaluate and identify lessons learned. I always had one ground rule: no blaming. Some people like to look at what worked and what didn’t, but I think that you can get pretty caught up in what didn’t work and why. When you do that, you run the risk of missing the real value of the lessons learned.
I like to use a different tool, the Stop/Start/Keep/Tweak tool, or just Stop/Start for short. It’s made up of four questions that are focused on identifying improvements and how to apply them in the future, not explaining the past. Here goes.
Based on what you’ve learned through your recent experience
- What would you stop doing?
- What would you start doing?
- What did you do that you would keep doing?
- What did you do that you would tweak a bit, or change up?
I love to repurpose business tools for personal benefit, and here’s how I use this tool. Whenever I finish a project, a mini-session, a coaching program or the like, I ask these questions. It’s especially useful for things that didn’t go perfectly, because I completely circumvent the part where I blame myself (or even occasionally blame someone else!) and get straight to the lessons learned. So much more productive, and it feels so much better.
It’s also useful for evaluating and diffusing difficult conversations and emotionally charged situations.
Give it a try and let me know how it goes.
And remember, in all things – progress, not perfection!
Love and light,