Thursday, April 17, 2008

Falling with Style

Everyone falls.

It is an inevitability that everyone is going to do something stupid sooner or later.

A mistake, an oversight, a blunder, a wrongly spoken word, a mis-sent Email, a number quoted incorrectly, whatever.

Avoiding a fall is not possible. Face it.

So the trick is not to avoid falls but to fall with style. Here's how to do it:

Step-1: Admit it.

Admit that you have goofed. To yourself, to others. The sooner you can get past the stunned silence stage the sooner you can start getting on to step-2.

Step-2: Damage control.

Once your brain gets past the "how-could-I.." or "why-me.." reflex, you often realize that the situation can be at least partially recovered. Get into damage control mode - salvage what you can.

Step-3: Turn it around

OK, so you you accept that you were a moron for a while, you've done whatever damage control was possible, now reflect on how you can turn it into something better.

Maybe it gives you an idea to prevent the next, possibly bigger, mistake. Maybe it lets you pick the same weakness in the competition. Maybe it takes you to an area that you had overlooked but which can be made much more useful now that you are focusing on it. There is almost always an upside.

There you have it. The three steps to falling with style. Now if only I could remember them the next time I goof-up.....

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