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January 14, 2020

The Problem with Practice and the “Try and Try Again” Approach


Sometimes those of us who are diligent, driven, and focused on getting to that end result can become frustrated when we don’t master something immediately. “Try and try again” is a good motto except when we just keep trying the same thing in the same way.

Sometimes we try and try again by just doing more of what we have been trying and then we are surprised when we don’t get the result we want. We often then abandon ship and do something we know will get results. For example, you might take over a project, “I will just do it myself,” or get upset with people prematurely.

Figure Out What Works

So keep in mind that sometimes “try and try again” means try it again in a different way, with some feedback and coaching from someone you trust, until you figure out how to do it in a way that works for you and gets the results you want. Don’t just give up and resort to taking over or just doing it yourself.

Another problem with practice: Who has time? “I can barely get all my work done as it is…”

If strategic communications is a critical part of doing your job, if you buy in to the idea that you are not a leader but a leadercommunicator, then doesn’t it follow that practicing this skill so you can use it effectively should actually be part of how you spend your time?

What could you cut out of your day – do less of – to find a few hours to practice communicating what's more important to you? To figure out an overall plan for yourself about when, where, and how you should communicate? Is there anything that is ‘not important’ and ‘not urgent’ (thank you Stephen Covey for these famous filters) that you could cut out that is less important than spending a little time figuring out how and when you should communicate?

How are you making the time to practice, and when needed, trying in a different way?

—David Grossman

Click below to download a free tool—Take 5™ Planning Template—to map out your communication, whether it's to one person, a group or an organization. Being more purposeful in your communications can take as little as five minutes.

take 5 planning template


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