Sunday, August 2, 2015

See if you can keep the conversation going.

Just finished Better by Atul Gawande. Gawande is a surgeon as well as a writer for the New Yorker and this is a collection of his New Yorker columns and I had read most of them when they first came out. None-the-less he writes so well and the issues he tackles are so pleasantly complex that it was a pleasure to read them a second time.

One of his themes is that there is always a distribution in outcomes. There are some people who produce remarkable results while others are much more prosaic. At the end of the book he has five lessons that he shares with medical students. While they are offered in the context of medicine and healthcare, I think they have broader application.

1. Ask an unscripted question
2. Don't complain
3. Count something
4. Write something
5. Change
They perhaps sound trite, but it is well worth reading in total at the end of his book. His summary is:
So find something new to try, something to change. Count how often you succeed and how often you fail. Write about it. Ask people what they think. See if you can keep the conversation going.

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