Recently I spoke at BRAS (discover what that stands for later) and I stuffed up. Ha ha — I just reread that and all kinds of double entendres pushed up at me!
Let me set the scene: I was enjoying giving a talk about Expectations to a bunch of great businesswomen a Campbelltown, a south western outpost of our great Sydney conurbation. Business Relationships At Sunrise – there you go! — also supports charities and we’d already heard from that day’s cause.
I was inviting audience members to share their stories, those who’d had their hopes Up about something and then had those hopes Dashed. I was highlighting their points with arrows on the whiteboard.
The charity spokeswoman came up and described giving birth to her second child when, instead of the expected congratulations of staff she’s had first time around, there was this curious silence and elusive energy before she discovered they had a Down syndrome baby.
At this, instead of doing my job of interpreting her message on the whiteboard, I caught some of her heart-felt emotion. That empathy took me out of my calm ‘in charge’ persona into what we call our ‘Feel’ state and I experienced a moment of confusion – what was I supposed to do?
I knew I was missing an opportunity.
Of course, after the talk was done and I processed what had happened, I recognised it had been an IDEAL Expectations story. And that that, right there, had been the whole heart of where and why that charity had started: to prepare and support parents who weren’t expecting this outcome — and to acknowledge the joy of a new child all the same*.
Let’s hope some audience members got this without my arrows!
So I stuffed up – but I learned something
It was such a lesson on the usefulness of my lovely work in empowering people. Even though I stuffed up this opportunity to some extent, my understanding let me get (later) what had happened. And to plan how to do better in future.
If only I’d had this information when I was younger!
Learn from me
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