After every meeting, whether it went the way you wanted or not, you should debrief using a fine tuned process. We walk clients through a 7 step process to debrief after their meetings, presentations, and negotiations so they can assure themselves better success next time. My theory is, if you don’t learn from your mistakes what is the use in making them? They are a ripe ground to learn, grow, and stretch. Sometimes it is something as small as the word choice you use that throws off the deal. Changing a word from “critical” to “strategic” can sometimes suddenly make what you are saying meaningful to them.
In most companies you don’t celebrate the failures and mistakes, only the successes. This means people learn to NOT make mistakes but not to IMPROVE on how they do things. If you are improving you will be making mistakes and correcting as you go. Thus all in your office should be open to DEBRIEF all that you do so you continue to move toward WOW status.
Now you also need to have a formal DEBRIEF for the successes as well. You need to be acutely aware of what drove that success in the first place. If you don’t document and analyze it you will learn create a repeatable, scalable process that others can use to ensure consistent results.
Remember ‘what you do not measure, you can’t understand. And what you can’t understand, you cannot change.” Take action and start learning from mistakes and successes.