The 4 Ls
A simple technique for reflection and continuous improvement – either by yourself or with your team.
USE THIS PLAY TO...
Replace old habits that no longer serve you with new habits that do.
Build a culture of learning and self-awareness.
If you're struggling with Health Monitor, running this play might help., or on your
1 - 10
Running the play
You'll need a clear head, and rid yourself of any tendency to rationalize things you don't actually like. If you're doing a remote session, share out the Trello template with the meeting invite so everyone has it handy for step 2.
Piece of paper
Pen or pencil
Dose of honesty
Trello board template
Set the stage (5 min)
As the team leader or facilitator, give the group a sense of what you are aiming to accomplish in this session.
Explain that 4 Ls is a great way to ensure you rid yourself and your team of any habits, activities or meetings that are no longer serving you so you can make space for new practices more suited to your growth. You'll also create a plan for turning your lessons learned into action.
Think back on the past quarter (5 min)
Give everyone a piece of paper and a pen (for remote teams try this Trello template for easy-sharing over video conference). Ask everyone to think back over the past quarter (3 months). One on side of the paper, give everyone 5 minutes to make a list of key events, milestones, achievements, and low moments, no need to categorize yet, just brain dump!
Reflect on highs, lows, and opportunities (10 min)
Turn your paper over and fold it into four corners. Write "Loved," "Longed for," "Loathed" and "Learned" in each of the four corners.
Give everyone 10 minutes to reflect independently with the following guidelines:
- In the LOVED square, write down what you LOVED about YOU in the last quarter. This is what you should do MORE of. In fact, these things are probably your superpowers – the things you do 100x better than most.
- In the LONGED FOR square, write down what you needed but didn't get last quarter. List out anything you'd wished for, wanted to do, or hoped would have been given to you.
- In the LOATHED square, write all of the things that happened in the last three months that made life worse. Recall the days you thought would never end or the moments where things felt impossible.
- Last is the LEARNED corner. Write down things that you experimented with or tried, what you learned from doing it (even especially if it failed!), or simply lessons that came to you organically.
After the session, share your lessons learned with as many peers, colleagues, and friends as possible. Take the LEARNT and tell as many of your peers, colleagues, and friends as possible. Ask them what they learned, too. It's the gift that keeps on giving!
Decide what to change this quarter (10 min)
The LONGED FOR and LOATHED are an equation. You can't add in a LONGED FOR (the thing you wished you'd had or done) until you've taken out a LOATHED. Why? Because you are full. Cognitive overload is real.
Give everyone 5-10 minutes, independently or in pairs, to decide what you'll remove from your LOATHED list this quarter and how you'll amplify your LOVED. If you've run the play before and have space to add a LONGED FOR, do that now as well. Keep your expectations realistic, though: 1-3 actions is probably plenty.
Be sure to run a full Health Monitor session or checkpoint with your team to see if you're improving.
If you're doing this play remotely, substitute all paper and pen instructions with a Trello board. All participants will make their own Trello board by copying this template.
LEARNEDs should be shared with anyone and everyone who will listen. If your company has an internal blogging tool like Confluence, consider writing a summary of your team's LEARNEDs and sharing it with your friends and partner teams.
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