“A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” ~ Albert Einstein
As a professional Christian coach, you will make mistakes. It’s not a matter of if you will make a mistake but when.
Recall the last mistake you made. Did you inadvertently charge a client twice for the same session? Were you late to a session because you forgot to check your calendar when you woke up? How did you handle it? Did you own up to it, and perhaps learn something from it? Or did you try to blame it on someone or something else and move on? If your response was the latter, you are in good company; it is the response of most people.
Most of us are afraid to make mistakes; and when we do, we try to rationalize them. The reality is, mistakes are a part of life, and we should not live our lives in fear of making them. Rather we should learn from our mistakes, or we run the risk of repeating them.
Learning from Your Mistakes
How can we learn from our mistakes?
For one thing, when you make a mistake, admit it. By admitting it, you are doing two things: you are honest with yourself and others, and you are taking responsibility for your mistake.
Honesty keeps us from rationalizing. Responsibility prevents us from blaming our mistake on others. Rather than saying, “You didn’t tell me” or “I didn’t know,” simply say, “I made a mistake, and I take responsibility for it.”
As important as this is, it is not enough to be honest and take responsibility for your mistakes. You must also examine yourself to see what you can learn from the error.
For example, if you inadvertently charged a client twice for the same session, learn from your mistake and put a system in place to keep it from happening again. If you arrive late for a session, apologize to the client and offer to reimburse the time lost during your next meeting. Or perhaps you forget about an appointment altogether. In cases like these, you will likely need more than an apology to appease the client. Consider offering them a complimentary session for their inconvenience
I know some mistakes are not as drastic as the one I just described. The point is that when we make a mistake, we should always ask, “What have I learned?” and “How can I keep this from happening again?” If you fail to learn from your mistakes and neglect to put a process in place to keep them from happening again, you are likely to repeat them.
If you don’t admit and take responsibility for your mistakes, why not? What have you learned from your mistakes?