The first mistake I made was not verifying the claim.
The second mistake I made was walking in the room.
The third mistake I made was confronting inappropriately.
When the customer came and got me, I was busy doing another task and I was switching back and forth. With the small gaps in between the thoughts and the switching. The customer who came and got me said “There’s been disruptions all evening from these people and you and your staff haven’t done anything about it.”
And then, the customer stared at me.
Nonverbal communication drove a lot of this, and with one look, I was prodded into action. But, instead of verifying the claim of disruption (my first mistake) I instead reacted and sprang into action. I hustled down the long hall, into the dark room, where the light from the images flickered across the faces of the people staring in rapt attention. I walked down a poorly lit aisle (my second mistake) and knelt down in front of the people in the general area where I had been informed that the disturbance was occurring.
I said something to the effect of “I’ve gotten a report about a disturbance in this area. I’d like you to quiet down so that other people can enjoy the show.”
The third mistake was confronting inappropriately.
Then, I turned around and walked out of the dark room, into the light of the hallway. I proceeded to head back to the office, feeling a vague sense of self-satisfaction. I tasked switched back to the work I had been doing before the customer initially approached me, and continued to believe that all was well.
I often tell groups that, even though I am a trainer and conflict engagement professional, and even though I can tell you what the right response is, and even though I can tell you how you should respond and manage other people antiseptically, I’m often confronted with the results of my own poor choices in my own life.
At the time that I made these three mistakes in a row, I had the same education and knowledge level that I do now. At the time that I made these three mistakes in a row, I knew much of the literature on response, reaction, and how to navigate both.
At the time that I made these three mistakes, I knew the path, but I was far away from getting committed to implementing walking the path, 1% better every day.
And then, to compound my problems, I went ahead and made three more mistakes.
-Peace Be With You All-
Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: email@example.com