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Ice-skating and the value of mistakes

We have an unparalleled opportunity to try new things. 

My daughter loves to skate - mainly roller skating, which she also teaches - and so wanted to go ice-skating for her birthday. At the rink in between helping my youngest son who is rather wobbly I saw some truly impressive skating. There were a few skaters who were amazing: leaps, spins, and tricks. They could skate fast, elegantly, and do some amazing things. 

They also fell over a lot. 

Talking about skating with my daughter afterwards I said that the person I saw fall over the most was also the best skater on the rink that day. She explained to me that her coach talks about the need to fall over more often when they meet. Mistakes in the coaching context mean attempts to learn - and the biggest obstacle to achievement isn't mistakes, it's fear of failure - because we don't make 100% of the moves we never try. It's obvious really. 

In an insurance context there are, of course, things we should not screw up. We can't be careless with clients trusting us to be reliable. But we also cannot use that as an excuse for inaction on all fronts. Our training sessions can include new ideas. Our new policies and procedures should include some attempts to create new standards. Our marketing development meetings demand several more concepts than we are going to use - I have long since overcome reluctance to pay for things that might not work. All new ideas can be carefully reviewed before using them in the field - but I like it when I budget for failure now. I like it when I can delete draft blog posts - good quality work comes from trying many things, and discarding those that don't make the grade. I aim to create some work that I will not use.

After the weekend's ice skating, I'm emboldened to try more new things. 

Is it time you tried something new? 


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