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Success on the Fly

Posted: Wednesday, May 8th, 2013


Chris Waugh


Practice

When I was practicing for my advanced designation in hang gliding, I needed 250 flights, 75 hours of airtime and the ability to sustain flight in thermal lift. I had documentation of all that in my logbook. I also had to perform flawless take-offs and land within 25 feet of a target at least four times in a row.

It takes a lot of time to walk or drive up a hill and fly down so you can practice one take-off and one landing.

So I found a sand dune with consistent wind blowing up it. At the top I could launch, soar a few minutes, and then land right where I took off. Then, I could re-launch and repeat the maneuver until I could set my glider down in my last footprints consistently. I did this about 30 times in a row. That was touch-and-go practice. And I completed my advanced certification that day.

Take-offs and landings are basic to every flight, and they happen quickly. As a pilot, you must be able to perform them perfectly. You can’t afford even one botched launch or landing. To stay current on those skills, you practice touch-and-goes frequently.

Performing touch-and-goes means quick, simple, repetitive practice of the basic skills for flight.

You can learn to soar (and you don’t have to learn to fly) if you practice touch-and-goes in your life and your work.

Pick one of these basic skills, or pick one as a team, and practice doing touch-and-goes:

• Make eye contact, smile and nod to everyone you pass by.

• Practice showing appreciation to each person you face.

• Work on your active listening and paraphrasing skills.

• Try maintaining respect as you engage in a disagreement.

• Refresh your awareness of how others see the world.

• Prioritize and perform your work in order of importance.

Touch-and-goes are simplified practice of the basics. Do a little every day and you’ll perform better on the fly.



Chris Waugh is a business consultant, author and speaker who "lends wings to your success." Visit ChrisWaugh.com or Facebook.com/chriswaughonthefly for more.

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