Post # 1
I’m really bad about it. if I make a mistake or if I don’t know how to do something, I’m not able to stop thinking about it and will let it eat me alive. I’m new in my position, so this happens more than I’d like as I’m still learning.
For example, I just stumbled through a business call and made a fool out of myself. For some reason, I was having a hard time making sense and just ended up confusing the person on the other end.
Now I’m sitting here all red-faced, thinking about what I could have said differently and just not allowing myself to let it go. Blowing it into a much bigger deal than it needs to be.
“I just embarrassed myself AND made the company look bad.” etc etc.
Anyone else bad about this? Or does anyone have any tips on how to learn to just let stuff go?
Post # 3
@regit45: I manage people and I am a firm believer that you have to make mistakes to learn. If I see my team going down a completely wrong path and about to make a huge mistake then of course I will guide them. However, if they are going through the process, learning, and end up reaching the “wrong” conclusion then I see that as a great teaching opportunity.
For the example you used, I would make myself some notes to refer to during calls. What points do you need to get across? How would you like to phrase them? While you are learning, there is nothing wrong with having a cheat sheet! I believe strongly in lessons learned – make the mistake, acknowledge it, and learn from it so you don’t repeat it.
That’s all any of us can ask for. No one is perfect (even those who think they are).
Post # 4
- Wedding: November 2011 - Florida Aquarium
I used to… but then I would talk to my boss about my mistakes, and she would reaffirm that I’m not an idiot and anyone really could have made the mistake. I try to focus on the mass amout of great work I do versus the every-now-and-again mistake.
In a new position, you have to cut yourself some slack. There’s a learning curve– and that’s okay!
Post # 5
Nope. I make a mistake, correct it or say, “Oops, oh well,” and move on.
Post # 6
@regit45: Depending on what it is, I may beat myself up about it. Last Thursday, I COMPLETELY forgot about a meeting. Flubbed it completely. Was driving back into work from lunch break when I look at my phone and there were texts from 10 mins prior talking about ‘where are you’ and ‘meeting is training room’. Had to walk in 30 mins late to a meeting in front of my team, my boss, I was MUCH to embarrased to talk. Still feel bad.
As for talking in meetings-I used to have a hard time with that. I joined Toastmasters. Helped me learn to come up with clear thoughts and not be nervous speaking up in meetings. Also gives you tools to recover when you do mess up. It’s international 🙂 http://www.toastmasters.org.
Try to not beat yourself up. EVERYONE makes mistakes, some are bigger than others. Kinda like when you pick your battles, you should pick what you feel bad about. Somethings are just NOT that bad, isolated incidents being one imo. Always making the same mistake will cause you co workers to talk about you lol!
Post # 7
@regit45: I always ask for help. I am a year into my job, and I still don’t know how to do stuff that I maybe should have an idea of how to do. If I make a mistake, I own up to it and move on towards making it right.
There have only been a few times where I have gotten really frustrated becuase I can’t figure something out or I made myself look like an idiot, but I am starting to get over it very quickly. I’m human. I make mistakes. Everyone does.
Post # 8
I always appreciate your advice on this board, Panda! Thank you. I like the idea of jotting down a few notes before making a phone call — since I’m learning a whole new job, it can be overwhelming trying to remember everything.
Just looked up Toastermaster chapters, and there is actually a meeting held in a room RIGHT ACROSS from my office every Tuesday. So that’s convenient. What were the activities like? Were you nervous to join at first? I’m afraid I’d be the only struggling one in the group …
Post # 9
I do have moments of doubt and getl upset with myself. However I think in those cases the best thing to do is take a deep breath and instead of beating youself up, you should focus on the things you can do to remedy the sitution or take it as learning opportunity.
For example that phone call. Instead of sitting in your chair beating yourself, take moment compose yourself, double check your information, if you need help or advice ask a coworker, then think about how you can phrase what you need to say differently.
Then at some point today, call that person back, apologize for being flustered and confusing them, then give them what information they need. I think that is a positive way to deal with the sitution, because it shows that you are competent, effient, and a promblem solver. Rather then thinking that you no clue what you are doing.
Post # 10
Yep! I have a very bad habit of beating myself up about mistakes, however minor! Think it comes from being a bit of a perfectionist, but also I hate letting other people down, and when I make a mistake I think of all the other people it might impact, and that doesn’t help!
I am getting better at accepting that I will make mistakes, and that everyone does and it’s how you recover from them that counts, but I find it very hard indeed!
Post # 11
I think you just have to learn that everything can be fixed. Unless you kill someone, there’s always a way to fix something. Just ask for help!
Post # 12
@regit45: I don’t get upset when I make mistakes at work. Why? Because I’m human, and my team needs to understand that mistakes can, and will, happen.
If I made a BIG mistake, such as something very costly or a security breach, that would be something that I would stress over. But fumbling through a call when you’re new to a position? No way. Mistakes have to happen so we know what not to do.
Post # 13
@regit45: I don’t but my Fiance does this all the time. It got really bad when he was let out of a contract and was out of work. He would call me in the middle of the day and be freaking out over something no one else even noticed. It’s really an anxiety disorder and you can’t just “stop” you have to learn to manage your anxiety. If you can afford it I would recommend seeing an therapist who works with anxiety, if not there are some fantastic books you can read.
Post # 14
To add, my Fiance also does Toastmasters, there’s a membership fee but it’s well worth it 🙂
Post # 15
I love to tell my Toastmasters story lol. I joined because I had just got a promotion at work in 2005. We had managers and directors flown in from home office and I was given the opportunity to speak in front of 40+ people, including the managers and directors. I TANKED!! Like, basically started crying hahaha. I can laugh now 🙂
So, I joined Toastmasters. Helps because there are some people who are great speakers and need to develop leadership skills and build their resume. Some people just need to practice speaking in a safe environment. The first meeting I went to I asked to be an observer bc I was too shy to talk, and it took me 3 months of going to build up my confidence and want to join and speak in front of the group. They were patient with me 🙂 YOU SHOULD GO!! I think you’ll find it helpful 🙂