I ‘d hardly even bother with this seemingly obvious topic if I hadn’t just had a couple of sessions in which clients – good people, not stupid – sheepishly acknowledged that they’ve avoided situations they actually knew “awhile back” were likely to grow into bigger problems. First they avoided, then they “forgot” they were avoiding.
Now they’re dealing with some very ripe problems, and one of them has an extremely serious problem.
No one should really take pleasure in someone feeling badly because that person missed something fairly obvious while otherwise trying to do the best they can. It’s right that our first instinct is to be nice and say, “we all do that.”
Here’s the thing: no matter how busy, no matter how much multi-tasking someone is barely pulling off now, both parenting and supervising people at work require observing, remembering, and learning from mistakes. It’s crucial. Not only are children and employees counting on it, but it all actually reduces the net total expenditure of time and energy, hones intuition (keeps you sharp,) reduces stress, and is the very essence of prevention.
So no matter how much we’re pushed by our relentless, constantly stressful “to do” list, being an effective boss or a good parent requires that your brain “light up” when it receives incoming information about a situation guaranteed not to go away if you don’t think about it. Sorry, but that’s the way it is.
It may sound harder than it really is, but it does mean remembering to remember – which people are forgetting to do at their peril.
I can be helpful with that problem: