My client was telling me about an experience he had with a client of his. My client was second guessing himself. Did he do the right thing even if it made both him and his client uncomfortable?
The short answer to his question was, yes. He showed up and did exactly what he was hired to do.
The real issue, however, lay in the question I asked him. Why was he second guessing himself?
What we uncovered during our conversation is something that comes up with all of my clients in one way or another. Actually I see it in every person I’ve ever spoken with – friends, colleagues, mentors, clients and family.
Let me take you back in time for a moment to give you an example.
When I went to college in the 1980s I started as a computer science major (it didn’t last long, I shifted to business after 2 semesters). We were taught to include “comments” as part of the code. The comments were not commands for the computer to implement, they were meant to help us see our thinking and reasoning behind the code. To give context and make it easier to follow our thought patterns and see mistakes. Because the comments did not impact the way the program ran, it was easy to forget to revise the comments if you updated or changed the code.
Okay, now back to present times.
As we go through our lives we learn, we experience, we grow. We try new things, some of them work, some don’t. We make mistakes, we have successes. We learn what works and what doesn’t. In fact, there are things that initially don’t work and, as we continue to work them, we either find a way around the problem or actually succeed at what didn’t work in the beginning. We are constantly tweaking the way we work.
We are constantly working on our own programming. We are constantly updating the code.
My question to you is, as you update your own programming, are you updating the comments?
Some outdated comments may include:
Don’t brag, it’s not polite.
Don’t interrupt someone when they are talking, it’s rude.
Don’t try to stand out or show that you’re better than someone else.
Be quiet, you’re not that important.
Nobody has ever said that before, you must be wrong.
Nobody wants your opinion.
What makes you think you’re so smart, or that you’re right?
It’s not nice to call someone out or put them on the spot.