Mistakes Happen

I sometimes comment to colleagues and clients that mistakes are inevitable, and recently I’ve experienced that in my own work. A few weeks ago I posted a short article to an online group, and sharp-eyed readers were quick to point out a spelling error. I referred to a state capitol building, but inadvertently wrote it as capital. Wonderful Mrs. Bersch, my third grade teacher, would have been disappointed that I didn’t remember the mnemonic she taught us – “the capitol in DC has a large dOme. Remember the O.”

The following week I wrote a blog titled “It’s Always Someone’s First Job.” The article was very well received, but the moment it was sent, I realized I’d made a big mistake. I failed to mention my dear friend Kristin and her wonderful husband Peter. When I lived in Boston, they went 15 minutes out of their way, every day, to give me a ride to and from work. We laughed our way down Storrow Drive, enjoying each other’s company. Often those rides were the highlight of my day. They did so many wonderful things for me during those two years that I couldn’t decide which to write about, and somehow I unwittingly left them out entirely.

When I noticed, I called Kristin immediately. She was as gracious as ever.

A spelling error is just a spelling error, but failing to acknowledge those who are kind to us is a bigger deal. All of us make mistakes at home and at work. When costly gaffes happen repeatedly, how do we correct them? When the same employee makes the same error over and over, how do we help? Learning from our mistakes is an important life skill, and helping others learn from theirs can be powerful. I look forward to hearing how you recover from yours.  

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Cushy Place
September 12, 2018

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