I have just been to see Dawn French in Dawn French Is A Huge Twat. Dawn is her usual hysterical self for two hours. If you cannot see the show there is a book. It is all about decisions she made that seemed perfect at the time but she now cannot explain!
Now we can all relate to doing strange things which make no sense afterwards. However, Dawn was wonderful because not only was she admitting she had been an idiot she was doing so publicly. And she and we were laughing uproariously.
This is rare isn’t it? Most of us burble excuses: we were misled by announcements, adverts, scammers, signs, emails; or by other people; or something went wrong with transport, the restaurant or our clothes! Who knows what? We look for someone to blame and do not take responsibility. Mostly we cannot accept our stupidity / moment of madness. We certainly find it hard to laugh at ourselves.
None of us is perfect and laughing at yourself can be totally liberating. Often it endears people to us. It certainly teaches us lessons – we will never do that again!
Why do I think this has meaning for our business lives? Really importantly if we take ourselves too seriously no one wants to be around us whether it is our team, clients or suppliers. Being fun is a key ingredient to forming relationships.
However, if we cannot admit our mistakes we cannot put them right. In my experience there are mistakes in every business. There will be a rogue transaction, a client where things start to go wrong and then get worse and worse, we promise in good faith, but it becomes over promising and under delivering. How we put these things right can have a very powerful positive effect. The disaster is an opportunity. The nine people we tell about the mistake will always be nine. However they may become more if we deliver some stunning customer service to resolve things. Use your creativity!
Dawn was talking about bad decisions in terms of behaviours, clothing and people. I also worry about bad decisions that have very dramatic effects on our lives. The things we forget to get around to or say we cannot afford just yet and forget about.
So can you confidently say you have these important processes in place?
- Private health care for when something cannot be dealt with quickly or at an appropriate time by the NHS
- Permanent health insurance if you cannot work for a while but the bills keep coming in
- Enduring Power of Attorney in case something goes wrong – who runs the business who makes decisions about your care if you are in a coma?
- A will that says what you want it to say especially about care of your children
- Professional indemnity just in case anything goes wrong
- Director’s insurance that covers the worst eventuality
- Registration of that patent or all important trademark
- Pension arrangements that will maintain your standard of living
Now I know this is gloom and doom talk but these items mean you, your family and your business are protected. They may not save you from making mistakes but they will save you from the worst consequences.
So now you are safe enjoy the learning from your other mistakes – and laugh at yourself.
If you need some help with all this then please speak with me. My work is to help you be more effective in your work. Sometimes that means helping you to value yourself by keeping all the challenges (and mistakes) in proportion. I love speaking with people, off the meter, to help them explore possibilities and whether/how to take them forward. I hope you will be one of them.