Do you have the right experience?

In JL Carr’s “The Harpole Report”, one character (a teacher) is incensed when challenged by the acting headmaster, asking how he dares to speak to her like that when she has had 30 years’ experience. He retorts “You haven’t had 30 years’ experience! You’ve had 1 year’s experience 30 times!”

When you do work that repeats some, if not all, aspects, it’s a challenge to come up with fresh approaches. After all, if you’ve found a way that works and within the time available, it could be risky to go down a different route.

Is it a worse risk than that of becoming a virtual automaton, so programmed that you just need to hear a certain phrase or encounter a certain problem and you click into automatic delivery?

How do you get different insights?

You can try a little role reversal, perhaps. Sit on the other side of your desk (literally and metaphorically) and see what being on the receiving end is like.

Or you could ask yourself what you would do if you wanted to make things go badly – and then do the opposite.

How about explaining what you do to someone who doesn’t know the job at all – can you gain any fresh insights from their reactions?

Maybe it’s possible to do a job swap and broaden your range.

I don’t want to disparage experience – far from it.

It enriches our lives and enables us to help ourselves and others out of difficult situations. It should also make us more caring and tolerant beings.

Tip: When you get into the habit of spending a few minutes each day putting what’s in your head down on paper, it clears your mind and it’s also handy for looking back and seeing what you did last time something happened – should you need either to repeat or avoid the strategy.
 

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