Find your flaws by working out what people won’t say about you

Find your flaws by working out what people won’t say about you

Believe it or not, you can improve your career and your life by not impersonating hospital food. Speaking at an HR conference in Queensland this week, corporate director and strategic advisor Linda Nicholls (St George, Australian Post, Healthscope, the Smith Family and a bunch of others) offered up the following strategy: work out what people would never say about your organisation. For instance, no-one ever says “This hospital food is excellent — I must get the recipe” or “Wow, that hotel mini-bar is great value!” In both cases, she noted, that implies areas that are seriously in need of improvement and which should be prioritised in any future plans.

You can apply the same tactics to yourself and your career — if you’re
brave enough to work out what people don’t like about you or where you
don’t contribute fully around the workplace. That might require
ditching some cherished notions, but that isn’t necessarily a bad
thing. As Nicholls pointed out: “There is an enormous difference
between being steeped in tradition and being bogged down in it.”


  • The odd thing being that I have encountered the food in St Vincent’s hospice in Sydney over the last week or so, and it really isn’t bad at all. It may not be the best food in the universe but it is nourishing, tasty and a long way from being anywhere near bad. In fact, I think hospital (and airline) food frequently (usually) gets a bad rap that it does not always deserve.

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