When I talk with Business Leaders about case studies, they always say “I would have done this…” Or “I would not have made that choice…”
The reason that case studies are used for training is that they are subjective; they are an example of a situation - what happened - and outline a decision moment for people to make their own choices as to how they would have reacted.
It’s very easy, in the comfort of our own chairs at home, to decide how we would do something. It’s easy when we sit watching football and say “I would not have chosen that play…” As someone who NEVER played football, when I find myself saying that I have to laugh.
A mentor of mine talked to me about ‘how do you describe the taste of a strawberry?’ The idea is that there are things that have to be experienced, and only by DOING can you know how you would react. We try to explain things that need to be felt - acted - done. It’s not about the words, it’s about action.
I have a favorite joke: How many actors does it take to screw in a light bulb? Six. One to do it, and six to say ‘I could have done it better if I had been given the chance.’
The next time you find yourself saying “I would have done that completely differently…” remember that you didn’t. There might have been fifty mitigating factors that changed how the person who made that decision in real time chose his/her choices.
It doesn’t mean you can’t learn from it and consider your own choices. What it means is that you can consider that you might not know the whole story, and that only by experiencing all the factors of that moment could you really say how you would react. It’s like describing the taste of a strawberry; you have to just do it, as some things need to be done to be experienced.