Don’t Ignore Subtle Warning Signs
We are so accustomed to living with minor annoyances that it’s not always easy to identify and correct them.
Fixing a small problem on the spot prevents much bigger problems later.
When you spot warning signs of trouble and categorize them as “normal” it leads to more problems later.
Focusing on small problems now can save years of costly corrections.
We can learn to spot small problems by doing the following
1. Recall a major mistake you have made at some point in your life, take some time and consider if there were small warning signs along the way.
2. Reflect on your day and without being judgmental, identify any small mistakes you have made today. The act of identifying mistakes will raise your awareness of small mistakes.
3. Ask yourself if the mistakes noticed above reflect a larger problem and take some small steps to fix it.
When we become aware of the areas where we easily fall short we will reduce the probability of making such mistakes again.
High Reliability Organizations (HRO), are organizations where services are vital and precise and failure is not an option. Any failure can lead to catastrophic events. They include nuclear plants, aircraft carriers, emergency rooms. These organizations are characterised by;
• Their ability to notice very weak signals and take decisive actions.
• Their capacity to pay attention to small details.
• How vital it is to review small mistakes thoroughly.
For most of us, daily mistakes do not lead to catastrophic consequences most times. But then there are points in our lives where we can do with extra vigilance.
There are three points in our journey of change where we are likely to miss warning signals.
1. At the beginning of a path to change; This could be a new relationship when we tend to ignore disturbing traits in our partner because we are eager for a relationship.
A new investment that seems so exciting and urgent or a pain in our body when starting a new fitness routine.
By slowing down and investigating properly we will save ourselves serious problems later.
2. Near the finish line; Towards the end of a hiring process when you are desperate to fill a position and something about the candidate doesn’t seem right. The Harvard business review has reported that it is much more efficient to leave a position empty than to fill it with the wrong person.
3. An overwhelming crisis; During crises, we tend to overthink and feel that we need to have a big response to whatever is happening. That approach leads to stress and despair. The best approach especially for personal crises is to look for the small problems that are within our control and find ways to manage them.