Know your limitations

Photo courtesy of Andrew Tarrant (Creative Commons)

Photo courtesy of Andrew Tarrant (Creative Commons)

As a runner, it’s important for me to push hard, but to also recognize my body’s signals to slow down, walk, or not tackle that extra mile. Pushing past those limits can trigger an asthma attack or cause an injury, which would then put me out of commission entirely for a while. I must understand the difference between lack of motivation and pushing those limitations.

I need to respect the fact that there are limits like a fence marking a boundary. For my own well-being, I must not climb over the fence.

It’s not just about exercise though. In your work, do you understand your team enough to know how fast to roll out a new initiative? Disaster could result if you move too fast with a new program without proper training and preparation. But you might miss opportunities if you hesitate unnecessarily.

Finding that balance is key, and knowing yourself or your team well enough to walk that fine line is critical.

We are changing to a new client database at work, which is easier to work with than our old one, but is still new and involves change. As I have planned the rollout, I realized that I need to take a step back and slow things down.

Rather than overwhelming my team with too much new information, creating confusion and incorrectly entered information, I made the decision to have them focus on entering the client information only, and not worry about also entering what help we provided. That way, they can get comfortable with the different screens involved in entering the contact information, income/expenses and demographics for each family member and get really good at that.

When they are completely comfortable with the first part of the information, then I can show them how to enter the assistance the family received. Until then, it still helps me for them to enter that initial information because it’s less I have to enter, and it means there’s less pressure on them to change too much too fast.

After a week of the new database under our belts, I realize that was a great decision. Everyone is getting comfortable entering the information, and while they still have questions, they are becoming quicker, more confident, and more accurate every day. This way, it will not be such a challenge when we add the additional steps.

In what ways would your projects go more smoothly if you pay attention to your limitations?