2013 Resolution: Forgive yourself for Making Mistakes

Has anyone seen these cufflinks?

Has anyone seen these cufflinks?

There it was – booming out of the front page of the Sunday Independent. A quarter page advertisement entitled ‘Seasons Greetings’ from Newbridge Silverware thanking all their friends and supporters. Did I need to be reminded of my stupidly?

Phone Call: 3 hours earlier I was driving home from town. Santa had been sorted along will all the other niggling logistics. We had enough food to withstand a nuclear attack and subsequent land invasion by crack North Korean forces. The car was overflowing with petrol and I was the new owner of more bails of briquettes than Bord Na Mona. Never was a man so organized for Christmas and feeling so self-congratulatory. When the phone rang in the car it took me a minute to pick up on the name, mainly because he was laughing so hard. There was a woman in the background and she was either bursting out laughing or in the middle of a medical emergency. It was hard to tell. When he said “Thanks again for the Christmas present” it was the precursor for another torrent of mirth.

Saying Thanks: Each Christmas I normally send a small gift to people whom I’ve worked with during the year. Given my general shopping phobia, it makes sense to do ‘one major trip’ and get all the stuff at the same time. Then write the cards, wrap the presents and so on. I swear, I never meant to send John a set of Newbridge silver earrings. Not with his coloring! He thought it was some sort of ‘insider joke’. No such thing. It was just a silly mistake on par with last year’s mishap when I sent the CEO of a private hospital (male) a purse! I suppose it’s one way to get noticed – but probably not to be recommended as part of your 2013 marketing strategy. No good deed goes unpunished.

Making Mistakes: All I know for sure is that there is a woman out there somewhere with a silver pair of men’s cufflinks, trying to figure out the hidden meaning in a transgender gift. Next year, just like Santa, I’m going to line up all the blue boxes and all the pink boxes. Sorted!

After I got over being annoyed at myself, I actually had a laugh. Only the Pope claims infallibility and I’m assuming that most people will be familiar with  ‘It’s the thought that counts’. We’re all going to make a couple of mistakes over the next 12 months. I’m quite taken by the line from Peter McWilliams: “To avoid situations in which you might make mistakes may be the biggest mistake of all”.

Don’t be too hard on yourself in 2013. Happy New Year!


PS: Lighter Moment: 2012 was a tough year for some people. Particularly my dad, having been fired for stealing. He used to work as a Lollypop Man. I partly blame myself. The signs were everywhere!

Know someone who’d benefit from reading this blog? Just forward it or ask them to contact paul@tandemconsulting.ie and we’ll add them to the distribution. For an informal discussion about executive or organization development, give me a call on 087 2439019.


About Tandem Consulting

Paul Mooney holds a Ph.D. and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Industrial Sociology from Trinity College, along with a National Diploma in Industrial Relations (NCI). He has a post-Graduate Diploma and a Masters in Coaching from UCD. Paul, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, is widely recognised as an expert on organisation and individual change. He began his working life as a butcher in Dublin before moving into production management. He subsequently held a number of human resource positions in Ireland and Asia - with General Electric and Sterling Drug. Between 2007 and 2010, Paul held the position of President, National College of Ireland. Paul is currently Managing Partner of Tandem Consulting, a team of senior OD and change specialists. He has run consulting assignments in 20+ countries and is the author of 12 books. Areas of expertise include: • Organisational Development/Change & conflict resolution • Leadership Development/Executive Coaching • Human Resource Management/employee engagement
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