Me: “I’m about to enter our team for the OLYMPIC triathlon. I need a team name ASAP”
Adam: “OLYMPIC? Behave. 1500m swim will be a joke.”
Me: “I don’t want any negativity Jackson! We rowed the Channel, not the Thames!”
Adam: “The running and cycling doesn’t faze me, but swimming is tough man!”
Me: “So we have lessons. I can’t swim either. We go to one of the local swimming baths together and get on it.”
Adam: “F*** it, alright then! We’ll smash it!”
Me: “YES Jackson!!! You make me proud.”
That was a text conversation that I had yesterday. Very similar to the ones I had when I was recruiting for our row.
But, being adventurous doesn’t have to mean entering a triathlon or jumping out of a plane. It can just as easily mean trying out a new idea or a new method. In other words, getting out of our comfort zones.
So how can we be adventurous during our working day?
Let’s start by taking a leaf out of Seth Godin’s book and refer to our work as art. That is what we do after all, isn’t it? We create art and we should be proud of that.
We should also address ALL of our members by their first names instead of their titles. Irrespective of age. Titles are barriers and they should be broken. Our first goal is to connect with our members. You won’t connect with me if you call me Mr Sandhu. I’m Jas, plain and simple. But not necessarily in that order!
But beyond connection, we should aim to engage our members. Every single one. The best way to do that is by telling stories. About ourselves. And I’m not talking about dentistry, I’m talking about our personal lives. Who we really are. What we did at the weekend, what we’re going to do. What drives us, what makes us mad!
And here’s where we can be the most adventurous. Be ourselves. Don’t hide behind a mask – literal or metaphorical. Don’t be the person that we think we should be. Just be ourselves. I’d wager that most of us aren’t entirely comfortable with who we are all of the time. And that there are times when we’ve modeled ourselves on someone else. I know I have. There’s nothing more courageous than allowing people to get to know us. Faults and all.
I got an email last week and, with Andrea’s permission, I’ve copied it below:
Thank you for yesterday’s meeting.
Believe it or not that is the first time in my adult life I have stood up in front of people and presented something and felt in control and I hadn’t had a drink. I avoid anything like that at all cost. It makes me panic and I can’t cope with it. However, yesterday I wanted to do it, I could have easily left it to my intoxicated partner but I wanted to try and that has never happened before. I actually found it ok. So thank you x
Have a great weekend and see you soon.
A fear of public speaking is one of the most common phobias. It’s a big deal. So well done Andrea and thank you.
Finally, one of the hardest things to say is “I don’t know.” As the practice leader, I have a vision which I’ve shared with you. Goals, SMART and ‘Fuzzy’ which I’ve shared with you. But I don’t know all the answers. I don’t know. That’s why I rely on you all to help find the answers.
It doesn’t matter if we make mistakes. In fact, we should, otherwise we’re not improving. The important thing is to learn from our mistakes, learn quickly and then adapt. In the words of Michael Masterson “Fail fast and fail forwards.”
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” – Helen Keller