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.
I recently came across a list of amazing quotes by acclaimed American poet, storyteller, and civil rights I recently came across a list of amazing quotes by acclaimed American poet, storyteller, and civil rights activist Maya Angelou. Since I often write blogs discussing the importance of gratitude in our personal and professional lives, I found it to be a treasure trove of inspiration. I will be highlighting a few of my favorite quotes in the months ahead, and I encourage you to share with me the philosophies and quotes that guide your life.
“This is a wonderful day. I have never seen this one before.”
This quote reminds me of former colleague and mentor Dave Hatcher. When I had first started my consulting business, I called Dave on my drive home after a program I had conducted. I was full of excitement and energy. I now know there’s actually a term for this, called “Speakers High.” Dave said to me, “Classes are like sunsets. Each one is different, each one is beautiful and each must be experienced from a different angle.”
Now, some 30 years later, when I have a day that doesn’t go so perfectly, I think of Dave and know that the next group or program will be different and bring new energy and perspectives.
So, what better time to be reminded of this sentiment? Each day is a fresh start, and we have the opportunity to shape where we allow our circumstances to take us.
This blog is one in a series discussing the importance of gratitude in our personal and professional lives, the benefits of routinely recognizing the good things in our lives, appreciating others who have helped us, practicing gratitude, saying thank you, trying a complaint-free day, and taking a gratitude walk.
In order to create a respectful and inclusive culture, organizations need to provide regular diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) training. But once you have had that basic training, how can you mix it up and make it relevant year after year?
At Concordia Consulting, we have found a way! We have adapted actual situations that we have been asked to remedy by changing them just enough to protect those involved. Then we implement the scenarios using a case-study approach to bring our training to life.
Want to try one?
Kanieka attends graduate school at Stanford with her friend Will. Kanieka is from South Los Angeles, and Will’s family lives in Beverly Hills. Over the winter holidays, Will invited Kanieka to a dinner party hosted by his parents. Every time Kanieka was introduced, her hometown was mentioned.
The guests asked Kanieka multiple times how she knew Will, and seemed incredulous that she was attending Stanford with him. A few asked where she went to high school, and when she responded, they were surprised they hadn’t heard of it.
While seated at the table with all the guests, Will’s mom asked Kanieka what her SAT scores had been.
- If you were Kanieka, how would you have handled the questions being asked at the dinner party?
- Have you ever experienced something similar, or witnessed someone else being treated in this way? If so, how did you respond?
- If you were a bystander at the party, would you intervene? How?
Have you ever witnessed a similar situation in your organization? Please let me know how you would deal with this scenario, as well as how effectively you think your organization might handle it. We will be sharing similar experiences in the months to come. If you would like facilitated training with us, we will customize a program specifically for your organization’s circumstances and culture.