‘Lessons will be learned’ is an often-repeated phrase trotted out by government ministers and heads of organisations when things have gone dreadfully wrong. In this short article we explore the importance of action rather than words in developing a genuinely blame-free working environment, where people are open about making, correcting and sharing the learning from their mistakes.
Have you ever felt sluggish returning to work after a break? This was me on my first Monday morning back after two and a half weeks off. Sitting at my desk, feeling strange to be in smart trousers and a shirt again, I found it very difficult to focus and kick my brain into gear. In the following days, I found myself getting overwhelmed by my workload, I tried to multi-task (and failed) and wasn’t handling interruptions or distractions effectively. I started to omit important details, I forgot to do things, and often I quickly lost focus. Whether you’ve just returned from a holiday, maternity leave or sick leave, we can all struggle adjusting. But by adopting an ‘accuracy mindset’ and being ‘present-minded’, you can prevent errors from causing problems and stay stress-free at work.
Emails are an essential part of our day-to-day work and it’s important we avoid making mistakes to communicate effectively. But there are many ways emails can go wrong and cause unexpected problems and frustration. Have you ever sent a message and suddenly realised you’ve addressed it to the wrong person, or you’ve forgotten to attach some essential files? I’ve made both these mistakes, and more, with my own emails, but over time have trained myself how to stop making the same errors. To avoid spending time doing re-work and be more productive, here are three simple, useful tips you can use when sending your next message.
Distractions and interruptions are an inevitable part of your working day. Humans are designed to be easily distracted, yet we expect ourselves to do work that requires complete focus. Your attention is drawn away from a task when the phone rings, or when your colleague offers a cup of tea, or when your manager asks a question. Interruptions like these might be small, but they disturb your train of thought, and have a big impact on your personal effectiveness. Let’s talk about three steps you can take to minimise distractions and get the job done.
Forgetting to do something is not surprising in our crowded, demanding day. Distractions, interruptions and an overwhelming array of things ‘to-do’, sometimes result in forgetfulness. A lot of mistakes emanate from oversights. Omission is one of the error-prevention topics we get asked about most. In this short article and accompanying video blog, we explore why we forget and how to ensure timely recall.
We all wish we could be more efficient with our time, and there’s a vast array of advice out there telling us how. But which of it is genuinely useful? I’m going to target five steps you can take right away to improve your personal effectiveness; not just for work, but in all aspects of life. We can all improve our attention to detail and concentration skills.
Today I attended Scott Bradbury’s flagship programme Developing an Eye for Accuracy. The other participants were from Avnet, an information services and technology company who design, supply and deliver stock to contract manufacturers around the world. I learnt a great deal from trainer, Greg Fradd, who taught me genuinely useful techniques for transferring information in my own work. If you’d like to find out how I got on, keep reading!
We all need to be productive. We need to get things done efficiently. And often that means wanting to be left alone to focus on the task in hand. The last thing you need is repeated interruptions. The irrepressible colleague who wants to chat to you presents a tricky problem: how to stop the interruptions without causing offence?
When I was at school, I thought I had been taught everything there was to know about success and achievement. I could not have been more wrong. Today, at a taster event with Scott Bradbury, I learnt how to process my work more accurately; a trainable skill which I will carry with me for the rest of my career. So, what does accuracy look like from the perspective of the iGeneration?
Do people get your name wrong? Annoying, isn’t it? Whether you respond with weary resignation or outright rage, the reaction is never a positive one. It matters that people get our name correct. From name badges to email salutations, from parcel deliveries to customer information and personnel files, if your name is wrong, there are consequences! Not only is it discourteous and sloppy, it can be costly, too.
Accuracy Asides is the name of our accuracy blog
You get to hear about our latest accuracy course results, the real-life 'bloomers' which come to our attention and all the latest news and juicy gossip about errors! We share accuracy tips and advice too.