Stop, Look and Listen

"Stop, look and listen."  This is great advice when you are crossing a street or a railroad crossing.  It also makes sense when you feel like you are in the "Juggling Elephants" routine or need a fresh prospective.

Stop!  The day to day can sometimes can be so crazy that you don't take the time to reflect on all that you are doing and determine if you are doing the right things.  This is why individuals in organizations take "retreats" or attend conferences.  Stepping back for a moment can give you fresh eyes and allow you to gain a new perspective on where you are.  You might just need 15 minutes or you might be due for an longer "intermission" to get your "act together".

Look!  Dive into the data.  Run reports and better yet, read them.  What is working?  What isn't working?  Why is it working or not working?  Ask the hard questions and look for the answers. 

Listen!  If you are in business, talk to your customers.  Ask them why they buy.  Ask people that are not your customers why the don't buy.  Talk with your co-workers. Talk to family and friends.  Get their advice.  The important point here is to listen!  Don't do all the talking.  Get their perspective, look for patterns in their comments and then create a plan to implement what you learn.

Stop, look and listen is easy to remember and can be a valuable tool to determine if you pointed in the right direction and how you can take your performance to the next level.  Try it in your next family or staff meeting.