Just last week, I sent an email response to one of our employees (the original sender) and somehow included the company wide email group address for one of our operating companies in my response. I understand exactly how it happened but was unable to stop or recall the email. To add insult to injury, the employee is not even employed at that particular operating company!
Hilarity somewhat ensued when they also “replied all” to their response to my response. Some might say I tempered my embarrassment with immediate deepest apologies and perhaps some blackberry moonshine upon arriving home.
I was tempted to dwell on this, pressing repeat and replaying this over and over. I wanted to kick myself for such a silly and avoidable mistake. However, I realized kindness can go a long way in these situations which includes kindness to ourselves. Mistakes happen to the best of us and most errors are fixable. In this case, I apologized (to the individual; I was NOT risking sending another “reply all” email), made fun of myself with some peers for the rest of the afternoon, and made a mental note that should help decrease the chances of this happening again.
And we all moved on.
That last part is key. Often times we dwell on the negative to the point we get stuck or on the positive to the point we don’t forge ahead. Both are problematic. The highlight reel of our careers is filled with victories and lessons; possibilities and missed opportunities. We can’t undo those but we can recover, reflect, and move on.
Sometimes it’s worth reveling on our mistakes and include those mistakes in the highlight reel we share with others. There is a certain kind of triumph in learning and moving on beyond our mistakes, especially if it helps others.
The social capital gained from this vulnerable moment was epic. It somehow made this HR person more human in the moment and offered some comic relief to an entire company.
Would I do it again that way? For sure NO! Do I continue to kick myself? Perhaps a tad.
In the spirit of “Get There with You”, I resolved to put it behind me and gain a deeper understanding that “you” is also “me”.