“Doing more of what doesn’t work won’t make it work any better.”
~Charles J. Givens

This quote made me laugh. It’s so true. Yet somehow we seem to forget and we continue to operate on the belief that if we just try harder, even if it’s not working, we’ll somehow figure it out and push things through.

The other day I watched a colleague stuck in a mess of her own making…because she just kept trying something that wasn’t working for her. She needed to present an idea and win over a less than enthusiastic audience, and she couldn’t pull away from approaches she had used over and over (and over) again with no success.

Last week I listened as a client recounted his challenges in the office. In his opinion, decisions were being made haphazardly, and he raised his objections. And raised them again. And raised them again. His objections were having no impact, other than draining him of the energy and passion to do his work and do it well.

Yesterday I watched myself fight with my son over homework. I can’t say who was “right” in that situation, but even as I pushed forward I was fully aware that I was stuck in pushing forward – repeating my arguments and raising my voice – to no avail. I was aware, but somehow unable to stop.

Sometimes I think we’re wired, or at least taught, to keep trying. And sometimes I think we need to remember that doing more of what doesn’t work doesn’t make it work any better. Maybe it’s time to try doing something else, in some other way.

Where are you trying over and over (and over) again? What else can you do?

Stop. Try a different approach.

New York: 212.537.6897 | Pennsylvania: 610.254.0244