We all make mistakes, no one is perfect but sometimes you let down the people that mean a lot to you.
Today I was angry at myself, replicating a trait that annoys me in others. I have been wanting to speak to someone who means a lot to me on Skype for a well overdue catch up. I set up a time that we both agreed upon and I was looking forward to it.
That day at work my family contacted me and wanted to have a belated Birthday Dinner (it is hard to get us all in the same place at once) and I said that sounds perfect. I got home that night and checked my diary and realised I had missed my Skype catch up and it was a weird feeling because although a Skype might not seem like the most significant event I felt slightly sick in the stomach knowing what I had just done.
Recently I read an article on 4 meetings you don’t want to take and number 3 was “When someone cancels a meeting close to its scheduled time.” Even though I didn’t cancel just before I did something worse I just forgot about it completely.
The reason this got me in a bit of a slump was for the following reasons
- Peoples time is valuable and I respect that
- No-one should ever have to wait for me… ever
- If I say I am going to do something or be somewhere I expect to follow through with those promises
- If people can’t take your word for what you have told them then you can forget about ever having a solid relationship with that person
- If someone did the same to me I would have thought they didn’t value my time or place a priority on our relationship
- These small actions have a direct impact on your integrity
Now I understand a lot of thoughts might be ‘Jimmy ease up it was a Skype conversation’ but in the grand scheme of things it was more than that, well it meant more to me anyway for the reasons mentioned above. I am very big on the little things in life and I think if you get those right then you as well on your way to getting where you want to be.
So now brings me to my next points which are not necessarily related to this situation directly but any time you need to make amends when you know you have done the wrong thing.
1. Take ownership for it and apologise
First up, don’t make excuses, accept what happened, own it, apologise for it and don’t let it happen again. If someone asks you to catch up and their response is “I’m too busy” then they couldn’t care less. Too busy? Too busy for what? To make time to catch up with someone that means something to you. To not even offer any period of availability just says straight out that you are not a priority. It is completely different to ask someone to catch up on a Tuesday and the reply is along the lines of I have University from 9am-4pm but let me know when your available hours are and we will work something out.
2. Don’t Let It Happen Again
I can tell you right now that if I messed up once I sure as hell won’t let it happen again. Your apology will mean absolutely nothing if you let what has previously happened happen again.
3. Do Something Above And Beyond
Where possible use your creativity to make amends. Think of something that will show you that realise you made a mistake and that you do care enough to make an effort. I am a huge advocate for actions speaking louder than words and I always will be.
4. Put Better Systems In Place
If you are forgetting things regularly or have a lot going on it is time to bring in a calendar, diary or some form of event recording software to insure you are where you need to be at the right time. Not system is fool proof but you need to start somewhere.
After reading this post I hope you take these away from it:
- If you say you are going to do something, do it.
- Don’t take peoples time for granted
- Actions speak louder than words in terms of making amends