Monday, March 3, 2008

Learning from Our Mistakes

Just over a year ago, I received a call from one of my clients to sit down and visit. Upon arrival at his home, I could feel a level of tension; I knew there were issues. At the conclusion of our discussion, I had been fired, and I had deserved it. Nearly a month earlier, I had promised to contact him every week and I had not lived up to the deal. We had interacted via the internet several times and on the phone multiple times since that promise in regards to a pending offer and negotiation. But of the phone calls, only two were originated by me. It doesn’t matter that we had over 40 showings and two offers on the property, I failed to live up to my commitment and promise.

Why do I share this experience with you? I do so in the hope that you can learn from it. My initial response was to try and “justify” the situation. I recognized this early in the discussion and quickly realized that approach was wrong. I then asked for specifics, took notes, apologized, and then promised to work with the next agent in getting the property up on the market quickly.

Had I kept that defensive attitude, I would have lost an opportunity to learn. I had a miserable weekend. I stewed, worried, didn’t sleep, and stressed. I hate to let people down. But as I went through this process, I started to ask myself questions. If I am failing with this client, am I failing with others as well? What about my family? What about my friends? What about myself? As I took this inventory, I discovered that this same trait was bleeding into other areas of my life as well. Not a good thing.

I am now in the process of correction. It may take a while, but identifying the problem has been the first step. So I also ask each of you to hold me accountable to this, as well as I apologize if you have been the recipient of this mistake.

As stated earlier, our natural response when we make mistakes is to “justify” and put the blame somewhere else. By doing so, we dismiss accountability and loose an opportunity for growth and correction. I once read a book that stated criticism is like a bucket of water being thrown on you. There is an initial shock of impact, followed by some irritation of grains of sand in your eye, but if we look carefully, we may find a small piece of gold which will help us grow and improve.

I wish I wouldn’t have had this opportunity to learn, but I am grateful for the education I have taken from it. Let’s look at life with open eyes. Take the mistakes as opportunities to learn and grow. I anticipate each of you are imperfect like me. I doubt I will even get close to perfect during my life, but I hope to improve continuously.

1 comment:

Julie said...

I am a new member of Digital Grin, but more importantly a Born again Christian. I admire you being able to post this on your blog for others to read. My relationship with the Father is so important, but my walk with Him is at times weak and I make decisions that sometimes don't honor the Father. I am learning that even though we may make mistakes, He is always so willing and ready to forgive us and help us to move up higher with Him. God is so good!
Thank you for sharing your experience.