August 17, 2009
Open Mouth, Insert Foot
READY8 "Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you won't have a leg to stand on.” ~ Author Unknown
AIM8 Oops, there you go again. You jumped to conclusions and said something you wish you hadn’t. Was your verbal mishap with a
friend, a customer, your spouse, or worse yet, your boss? Your momentary lapse of control has left you feeling embarrassed, upset or even frightened of their response. Now what?
At some point in life, we have all said something we wish we could take back. However, we must never underestimate the power of the spoken word. Words can build people up or tear them down in an instant. Unfortunately, once we’ve said something out loud, we can only try to mend the damage that may have been done as a result of our mistake.
Recovering from a spoken slip-up can be simple if you act quickly. First of all, be sincere! If you are insincere, it will be apparent and will only make matters worse. Next, and most importantly, apologize. If you were wrong or insensitive and admit your error, most people are willing to forgive you. Lastly, offer a hug or handshake as a gesture of trust. These small signs of acceptance will help bridge the gap between you and the offended party.
Should you choose to avoid acknowledging your blunder, you risk the consequences of losing your friends, valuable customers, trust with your spouse and potentially your job. (Not to mention how foolish you will look to those around you.) Be smart, gather your facts, be informed and use your feet for walking.
FIRE8 Don’t jump to conclusions! Take time to get to know someone or
his or her circumstances before you make judgments about situations or personalities.