Friday, March 17, 2017

You Goofed! Now What?

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I love the Academy Awards!  At a minimum, my wife and I try to see all the movies nominated for best picture. We can then watch the awards show with some anticipation and knowledge of the nominees.

We, like many of you, watched in agony two weeks ago as the wrong movie was announced as best picture.

The chaos that ensued made for great TV but one couldn't help but feel a pang of remorse for the producers of La La Land while feeling stoked that Moonlight was the winner. We witnessed a view from the pinnacle of accomplishment to the depths of despair in seconds. Wow!

So what, you may ask, does this have to do with commercial real estate? Only this. Sometimes, we just goof. We try very hard each day to do our best, represent our clients, market our listings, and cooperate with our fellow brokers. With these good intentions, things can still go awry. Case in point, last week, I missed a meeting because I failed to open a piece of mail that specified the date and time. Oops!

What is one to do when the inevitable goof occurs?

Own it. How many times do we blame others or fail to take full and complete responsibility for our actions? I've found it's best to simply own the goof - admit you made a mistake. Say these words - "I made an error and I take full responsibility."

Make no excuse. No one cares if you were stuck in traffic, didn't open your mail, forgot the meeting, or your dog ate your only marketing brochure. The net effect is the goof happened. How and why it happened becomes irrelevant - and only weakens a sincere apology.

Apologize profusely. A good apology. I'm sorry that I missed the meeting. You must have felt as though I didn't care about your issue. In the future I will make sure to be early. A bad apology. I'm sorry if what I did made you angry. However, you should have called and emailed in addition to sending me the letter with the meeting time - ummm, no.

Take steps to insure you don't repeat the mistake. In my case, I'm not great at opening mail. I find mail mostly junk and anything of importance generally arrives via a different medium - email, text, call, social media, etc. I've now committed to visiting my mailbox once a day, reviewing the contents, and responding to the important things. Seems like a no brainer, right?

Forgive yourself and move on. You've owned it, made no excuses, apologized, and taken steps to insure you don't repeat the error. Ok. Done. Move on. Please don't wallow in the fact that you goofed. After all,  someone wise once opined - "to err is human, to forgive is divine". I believe that even applies to forgiving ourselves.

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