Regret lingers around like a bad smell. It weighs heavy and will not let us rest.
I can’t tell you how many times a client has said to me in a coaching conversation something along the lines of ‘if only I had prepared better for that meeting’, ‘if I had just got out of the weeds and created time to….’, ‘I should have spoken up more in that conversation’, ‘I should have seen that coming’.
Should have, would have, could have!
If this is where you’re at we’ve got something very tangible to work with. I’m sure you already know what it is you wish you had done better or not done. You may feel like you missed the train but looking back is not helping, so let’s get on to the next one with forward momentum.
What is it that you can do to stop the regret?
If you’re thinking “I should have prepared better” I suggest you quickly pick another opportunity in your diary and schedule time to plan ahead for it. This may entail cancelling other commitments or blocking an existing free slot, whatever it takes. The fact is, with preparation, our ability to strategically influence and know how best to intervene is highly improved.
As leaders, we must learn the art of observation. It is the ability to observe and read the play to understand what’s going on in “the system”. With time to understand what’s going on, who are the players and what is needed, you will be in a position to then make more courageous interpretations and intervene accordingly more successfully next time.
Maybe you wish you’d spoken up at a certain meeting. Finding your voice is also something that can be worked on ahead of any interventions. Your performance in meetings matters more than you think. So practicing to make your voice more impactful is really going to set you up for next time. If you need help, ask us about our model which includes 6 possible ways to facilitate this through preparation, intonation, pauses, speed, and the use of particular language.
Ultimately, our goal is for you to reflect, not regret. And with that reflection and learning you can create different choices for yourself. If you were disappointed in your performance there are always opportunities to engage with others following the meeting or, putting in the agenda for the next meeting whatever was left unsaid. And for the next time, you can leverage the practices we introduced above… all you need is to invest some time, get in touch and get in the habit to learn from what you regret, what you want to do better tomorrow.