10 -10 – 10
10-10-10. It’s not the combination to my lock at the health club. It’s one new way to think about decision making. 10-10-10 stands for 10 minutes, 10 months, and 10 years. I learned about this technique when I read Decisive, How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work by Chip and Dan Heath.
If you are like me, I don’t like picking up the phone or hobnobbing with someone at a network event if I don’t know them. I don’t want to be too presumptious. Yet, the 10-10-10 perspective has given me a different way of thinking about things.
The First 10
The first 10 stands for the minutes you have most angst before you reach out to do something. For me, this link carries the biggest sense of dread. Perhaps you want a meeting with someone that you don’t know… or at least not well enough. What if the person says, “No?” Can you live with that dread of speaking? The answer is yes.
The Second 10
The second 10 stands for months. Say you just asked for the meeting above and the person said, “No.” It might have hurt for a minute, but 10 months down the road, you don’t even think of it. But, what if the person said, “Yes.” You may have a new friend, business partner, or just someone that you met a few times for coffee.
The Third 10
As the years roll by, you get to the last one. 10 years from now, you won’t even think about the first 10… unless you have a funny story to tell. You either have have a friend or business partner… or you don’t. But it doesn’t really matter much by this point.
Most of us show fear before we stand up and ask for something. If you look at it through this 10-10-10 perspective, a sense of dread really doesn’t matter very much because it lasts for a few minutes and then you get on with your life. Decisive has definitely changed how I look at whether I ask for those meetings.