I like to think of myself as skilled in discerning potential in other people.  I also prefer to think of myself as someone whose first impression is usually correct.  I have navigated through numerous resumes and interviews by relying on these assumptions.

Most of the time I am accurate.  The team members I have hired are hard-working individuals, all of whom possess distinct personalities that add character and depth to the workplace.  Even the quiet man I hired a few weeks ago brought a dry humor to the team, effecting a nice balance to the more raucous of the bunch.

I recently learned that I was wrong about someone.  I had determined a dislike for the man, and I felt he was arrogant, insufferable and unhelpful.  My judgment was not only incorrect, I found that I was grossly mistaken.  And in seeing how very wrong I was, I am humbled.  And in being humbled, I somehow feel like a better person.

This may sound rather odd at first, so here is a way to restate the situation:  I understand that I was wrong, regretful that I had harsh thoughts, and I know why I had those harsh thoughts in the first place so that in the future I can correct my thinking.

I worked for a man nearly 20 years ago who noticed that I was rather ashamed of having made a mistake at work.   He was the most successful project manager at our company, and quite a wise man.  He said to me, If you make a mistake, tell me.  He was very straightforward on the subject,  in contrast to my previous boss who was overly dramatic and rather tendentious to hissy-fit-throwing and the like.  The calmer, rational discussion allowed me to be a flawed human being and grow from experience, while the hysterics bred fear, repugnance and avoidance.


2 responses

  1. We all get it wrong sometimes honey. But the key is having the guts to admit it, and the grace to make things right.

    Mistakes “DO” happen. That is why they call them MISTAKES.

  2. Exactly true. It seems I learn more from my mistakes than my successes, though a balance of both is always best for the ego. That is why I felt like a better person for having recognized the mistake, and really spent time examining it. I’ll be more judicious, and less judgmental, as a consequence of this introspection.

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