Last week I was lucky enough to go along to the 2018 SCIL Expo at the NEC in Birmingham. I went with our MD and founder Sally Gordon to exhibit at the show.

It was my first such event since my change of career in 2017 – broadcast journalism to record collation, so I’ll admit to a few pre-show nerves: Will I be able to answer any queries that visitors to our stand may have? Can I remember what we want to tell our clients and prospective clients? Can I put faces to some of those familiar voices on the phone?

Of course, I needn’t have worried. It was lovely to catch up with some of our clients in person for the first time, and we had some great conversations with lots of people who haven’t already sent us case work. Hopefully we’ll be greeting them as friends in years to come.

One of the many highlights of the day was the talk by Matthew Syed – well known sports journalist, former British table tennis Number 1 and author of The Greatest: The Quest for Sporting Perfection, and more recently Black Box Thinking. I’m paraphrasing not just an engaging and amusing speech, but also a book here, but his premise is simple – success only happens when we confront our mistakes (like they do in aviation, which had an accident rate of 0% amongst the major airlines last year).

It’s far easier said than done of course, otherwise we wouldn’t be so intrigued by the concept. Am I happy to hear a client or a colleague say something I’ve done isn’t up to scratch? No. Do I immediately want to man the battlements and repel all boarders? Maybe a bit :0) But if, as Matthew suggests, we can move away from the blame game and enter a ‘growth mindset,’ great things can happen.

Just focus on WHY things went wrong, rather than whose fault it was … It sounds so simple! But I’m not sure I’ll be putting feedback forms in with my daughter’s packed lunch anytime soon …