It hurts bad when you let yourself down! Especially when it affects people you value.
I was in a meeting with organizational leaders…a common situation. It seemed like it went fine. I knew that I had misspoken a couple times…I wasn’t flawless by any means. I read enough body language to know that I had missed the mark on one particular comment, but I was assured that it wasn’t a big deal and that everything had gone well.
Through informal back channels I learned that my mistakes were bigger than I perceived. To most people the mistakes were innocuous, but they were mistakes and they were MY mistakes. A few people were appropriately bothered.
So, how do I learn and grow?
What went wrong?
Who was harmed?
What is the impact?
What should I do now?
What should I do differently in the future?
Reflection helped me understand what went wrong, who was harmed, and why.
I apologized for my mistakes to the people affected, now it’s time learn and grow.
I didn’t adequately prep. I was too casual. Some people like that I am casual, with preparation I believe I can maintain that feel while making sure that my word choice and anecdotes/examples are more appropriate.
Only through careful preparation can we uncover the unconscious biases that might emerge in our language. While I believe certain things, from time to time I contradict those beliefs through the examples and words I choose. I can avoid these missteps through preparation.
I generally know when these situations are coming. I need to make sure I carve out adequate preparation time. I need to make sure I give my thoughts/plans enough time to bake so that I can refine them…fully bake them. I find that when I do this I realize things that I have missed. The cake gets better to stick with that analogy.
We all need to be willing to take feedback/criticism, reflect, learn, and grow.
None of us are above this if we want to maximize our potential and fulfill our purpose.
I am grateful for this lesson and I pray that I will be better in the future.
The foundation of both growth and leadership is self-awareness…not coincidentally. I am now more self-aware and am better prepared to pursue my purpose moving forward.
How about you?