Have you ever said something or done something that you later regretted?
You have! Wow that’s good I thought it was just me 🙂
To make error is human, we all screw up or we are not living.
As I write this blog I can still feel the fresh emotion of embarrasment from a recent mistake. Yesterday I posted on a forum and had not framed my communication in line with my intention. The result was that I was publically attacked for what was perceived as a ‘superior and glib’ attitude.
When we are attacked our first reactions are to fight or run but with Self-leadership we can choose our response and learn from a situation.
My self leadership which creates self-awareness, caught my first thought of vengeance for the attack, and asked the question, “is this useful?”
My immediate second thought was, “how can I hide this mistake?” and again my self leadership asked the question, “is this useful?”
Once my reactivity has settled I was able to assess the situation.
- Could my post be perceived in the way my attacker said? – yes, I can now how see how it could.
- Have I made a mis-take? – yes.
- Am I perfect? – no, I am human.
- Can I learn from this – yes, this is valuable feedback, perhaps I do have the potential for a superior attitude and this is not in line with my highest intention. This is something to work on.
- What is the best response? – Aplogise, explain my intention but make no excuses, change my behaviour.
By sharing my thought process I hope I have illustrated a method to handle mis-takes.
- Don’t react
- Accept that you are human and not perfect
- Aplogise and make amends
- Learn from the experience
It has often been said that, “If we are not making mistakes, we are not doing anything worthwhile.” I would agree with this sentiment as I think we learn more from our mistakes than our successes; unfortunately we live in cultures that are often intolerant to mistakes and these are cultures that don’t learn.
Perhaps it is true that without the self leadership to handle mistakes we will never be happy and without the courage to make mistakes we will never have leaders.
(copyright Andrew Bryant, no reproduction without permission – thank you)