This is a technique shared with me by Ian Kinnery, an exceptional business coach based in the North East.

We run a business book group, and every month we attendees are ‘made’ to read a book that we wouldn’t normally read.

Because we’re all quite experienced in business and have done a lot of work over a long time to get to the stages we’re at, it’s all too easy to read the book and fall into the trap of just thinking to yourself, ‘yes, I do that already’. Sometimes it’s hard to acknowledge that we can, and should, never stop learning – or at the very least try to reflect on what we do and refine it.

This was particularly apparent to me when we recently read – ‘Mastering the Complex Sale’. I, for one, was convinced that I’d already adopted most of the learnings in the book and didn’t really need to give it much further thought.

When I made this point, Ian’s response really made me think.
He uses four questions, which I have adapted a little, which force you to reassess the opinion that you already know that, or do that, and so have little to learn from it.

Basically, if you, hear, discuss, or read something interesting or valuable, you then ask yourself:

  • • When was the last time I did that?
    • How consistently am I doing it?
    • Honestly, how well do I do it?
    • And also, honestly, do I really understand what it means?

If you reflect genuinely and sincerely, the least it does is let you discard what isn’t useful to you and revisit what might be.