Have you ever had that moment where you are right in the middle of a situation such as a conversation with a client and you are thinking - This is not going well.
Today, I am going to tell you about a not-so-secret technique that’s used every day to help you not just get past these moments, but turn them into opportunities.
So how do you take something that didn’t go the way you hoped and turn it into an opportunity that you can look forward to? The technique is called Lessons Learned and it’s been done by project managers for years. It’s conducted after every project completion and helps ensure that each new project is run a little more efficiently and effectively. Two things that project managers love!
So what exactly is the Lessons Learned technique and how can we, as online business owners, use it?
Well, the main purpose of a Lessons Learned meeting is two-fold - one purpose is to learn things that you may not have otherwise thought about and the other is to celebrate the achievements.
There are four questions that are typically asked in each Lesson Learned session. So let’s take a look at each:
What went well?
When a moment or an experience goes badly, the easiest thing to do is focus on the bad. To obsess over what we did wrong. Starting off with this question flips that script right away by helping us focus on what we did well. We can focus on our achievements instead of immediately obsessing over our mistakes.
What could have been done better?
Notice how this is worded. It’s not asked what went wrong. This question wants you to put on your analyst hat, review and analyze the event, then identify where improvements could be made.
What could have been done differently?
Not everything needs to be improved, some things simply need a different approach. Maybe doing something different can reduce time, or the risk of something bad happening. For example, maybe the questions you asked were fine, but adding in this one new question could help down the line and improve the process as a whole. The original questions weren’t bad and things didn’t go poorly because of them. But after adding in this new question, things could go a lot smoother in the future.
Next steps to take?
Now that you know what went well, what could have gone better, and what could be done differently, it’s time to put that knowledge into action. This is the time when you revise scripts that didn’t go well, or add in questions that make things better.
Without conducting a Lessons Learned session, you might just obsess over the bad for a while, forget about it eventually, and move on. Nothing’s changed. But when you apply Lessons Learned into your process, you can take time after each project, or event, whatever that may be, and assess to make you and your business a little better each time.
If applying Lessons Learned into your process sounds like something you would like to try, then I have some good news for you! I have created a template for you that you can use to fill in and start creating your own lessons learned. You don’t even need to print it out (but you always can if you are a paper and pen kind of person!). It’s a fillable pdf so you can simply fill in with your answers, and save!