I walk past this sign above a fire alarm in my office building several times a day and yet for some reason the other day it really caught my attention so I snapped a quick pic on my phone.
Later that day, I had a session with a coaching client who’s considering a new opportunity which has come to her. When Annie said, ‘Isn’t a bit of a risk?’, I was reminded of the photo so I showed it to her. It inspired us to grab two big sheets of paper and some pens.
On the first sheet of paper, we copied the text from the sign – ‘Do not take risks’; on the second, we missed out one word and headed it: ‘Do take risks’.
Annie then used the two sheets as a kind of giant cost/benefit analysis. The ‘do not’ sheet listed all the possible disadvantages associated with taking the leap; the second was filled with the potential positives taking the risk could bring. By the end of the session, we had two sheets covered with notes: Annie weighed them up against each other and happily announced that she had made her decision.
‘People who don’t take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year. People who do take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year.’ Peter Drucker
I love that quote: it reminds me that risk is a part of all our lives. Every risk has another risk associated with it: if you don’t want to risk rejection for an internal role and just hope that your boss will see sense and give you the job, you risk being overlooked; if you don’t risk running for the bus, you risk a long wait for the next one; if you don’t ask the girl to marry you, you risk missing out on the love of your life.
Today’s pebble for you to ponder: how can you use the ‘do not take risks/do take risks’ exercise to help you create your action plan?
What do you think?
Turning over pebbles is the blog of Thinking Space Coaching.
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