Donna's blog on coaching, leadership, and life

Mistakes happen—moving on is intentional.

I share this story in the spirit of getting real. We can pretend to have it all together all the time, but we all know that no one has it all together, all the time. Here’s a personal example.

I’ve been facilitating small and large groups for over 25 years, and a couple of weeks ago, I managed to flub up an afternoon session that I was facilitating for 75 professionals. Thankfully, our morning session went well. Instead of boring you with the details of the afternoon session I’ll just say that my own miscommunication caused the exclusion of planned content and flow, and diminished the quality and length of the program. I basically lost control of the agenda and once it was lost, based on the size of the audience, I simply needed to wrap the program up as best I could. This has never happened to me before. I certainly can recall circumstances over the years where I haven’t been at my best, but frankly, this was a doozy. And the experience was, and still is, humbling.

Following the program I promptly acknowledged and took ownership of the mishap. My clients were gracious about it, but I found that I was less than gracious with myself that evening, as I beat myself up and had significant regret about the level of service I provided to my audience and my clients. From a more selfish business perspective I was also concerned about participant feedback in the marketplace—something I’m not used to being concerned about.

By the end of that night, I knew it was crucial to shift my thinking. The day was done. I recognized that I couldn’t go back and redo it, and that I had little or no control over the outcomes of the events of the day. I realized that in order to best serve my future audiences and clients well, I would choose to learn from this experience, move on, remember and take pride in my successes, rebuild my confidence and continue to maintain the standards I serve by.

This forward thinking, personal reflection, and self-talk helped me a lot. Writing this entry helps too. If you find yourself dwelling on self-blame—or blaming another—for mistakes made, I hope they help you.


4 Comments» wrote @

wow, cannot wait to talk, I had something similar happen (except I lost it a bit emotionally) at my place of employment on a Saturday—-so very true, your words, so very true, and they take practice.    I swear, it is the Solar eclipse that is causing this!!!


  donnarawadyblog wrote @

Good to know we’re not alone, thanks Barb.

  Anne Marie wrote @

Such a telling and profound lesson to learn. Growing through our failures or misteps is always the best road to follow. Unfortunately, sometimes, this lesson takes years to understand and realize. It’s so hard to listen to colleagues (sp?) and even loved ones dwelling on negative situations from the past. It becomes very personal. In this situation, for me, I am grateful for my age and experience.

  donnarawadyblog wrote @

Thanks for your thoughts, Am!

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