It’s a strange world of language in which skating on thin ice can get you into hot water. ~ Franklin P. Jones
When the water starts boiling it is foolish to turn off the heat. ~ Nelson Mandela
Women are like teabags. We don’t know our true strength until we are in hot water! ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
We have all had that feeling…. some of us know it all too well… that moment when you say (to quote Sheldon from “The Big Bang Theory”), “Oh SNAP!” You realize that you are in hot water. You have made a mistake that you wish you had not. You cannot take it back, and now you have to figure out how to undo whatever it is you intentionally or unintentionally said or did.
Those of us who are lucky only find ourselves in this position every few months, or even once or twice a year… I know others who find themselves stuck in the reality of a pot of hot water on a much more frequent basis.
It happens, we ALL make mistakes. If we claim we are perfect and do not make mistakes, the only person we are really fooling is ourself. If we allow ourselves to be completely honest, then we fool no one. The measure of our strength of character is not determined by whether or not we err, but our ability to admit our snafus and eloquently move on from there.
GETTING OUT OF HOT WATER
- Step #1: Admit your mistake. (Do not, I repeat DO NOT pretend you did not do it. And, do not, I repeat DO NOT attempt to pin your mistake on someone else!)
- Step #2: Listen to the person you have hurt (if you have). Allow them to speak, acknowledge the way your actions or choices affected them. Example: “I know you feel hurt when I inadvertently leave you out of a meeting. I feel horrible and I know you need me to include you next time.”
- Step #3: Make amends. Sometimes this can be a direct correlation to your mistake. I.E. If you forgot to schedule a meeting, you can schedule. If you spread a rumor, you can correct it. If you cannot make direct amends, then reach out in other ways. Buy the person coffee, leave a chocolate on their desk – let them know through your ACTIONS that you really do want them to know you care about the error you made.
- Step #4: Assure the person that it won’t happen again. Explain to them, in detail, how you will prevent further mishaps of the same caliber.
Today, 233 days ’til 40, I will remind myself that it is okay to make mistakes, even when I end up in hot water. The measure of my character is how I choose to get out of the hot water!