Let go of what you can’t control: How to handle unforeseen hiccups

Publish Date: October 11, 2023

Written by Darryl Davis

- Originally published at Inman News - Darryl Davis

Even with the best processes in place, things can go wrong. Darryl Davis uses his own real-life experience to help you learn how to handle the unexpected with grace and efficiency.

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Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference, as the serenity prayer goes.

Last week, our team experienced a poignant lesson in relinquishing control over what we cannot change, which struck me as a universally important reminder. The truth is, in our frequently tumultuous world, plenty can veer off course, and everyone makes mistakes — it’s a fundamental aspect of our humanity.

Here’s a snapshot of our scenario

Every Wednesday for the past three years, our company has consistently hosted skill-building webinars for agents. Rigorous checks and balances are executed weekly by my team to ensure hitch-free sessions, not only providing powerful training but also recording sessions for our coaching members to view on-demand in our training library.

Yet, the unforeseen occurred last week

For the first time in three years, we experienced a recording glitch. Upon realizing it, my team, understandably, was sent into a state of panic. All available resources were mobilized, even beckoning our VP from her conference seat in Orlando, as frenzied attempts to salvage the situation ensued. Ultimately, the recording was lost; it was an unchangeable reality.

After some collective deep breaths, we shifted our focus toward what was within our control

That meant maintaining our commitment to members and transparently communicating about the hiccup. And that’s precisely what we did, through a voicemail and an email and by ensuring every team member was empowered to assist clients in locating the training tools and solutions they needed.

Preparing ourselves for potential backlash or disappointment from agents, we were instead met with an unexpected and heartwarming outcome. Not a single complaint was lodged. Instead, our members showered us with thanks, reassurances, and appreciation for our ongoing commitment and contributions. Far from criticism, we encountered understanding and even deepened compassion and affection for our team.

The experience underscored a potent lesson in the art of releasing control over the uncontrollable while leaning into proactive solutions.

It’s inevitable that in your life and career, there will be times of mistake-making or unforeseen circumstances, demanding a focus on commitment rather than perfection.

During those tough moments, hold tight to these 3 insights

  1. Swiftly release what cannot be undone: Lingering on unchangeable events delays solution-finding and clouds your mental clarity.
  2. Extend grace to yourself: As a mistake-prone human, you’re also incredibly adept at navigating change. Embrace errors with a knowing wink, acknowledging the strength garnered from each misstep.
  3. Root yourself in commitment: It’s not our missteps but our dedication and character that define us, both personally and professionally. When actions stem from commitment, even breakdowns can pave the way for relational breakthroughs and enhanced connections with those around us.

I hope this message serves as a resonant reminder not only that it’s permissible to make mistakes but that they are a testament to your endeavors, innovations, and active participation in life. As the old adage goes, those who avoid mistakes often avoid making anything at all.

Mistakes confirm our shared humanity and, when approached with grace and wisdom, become stepping stones toward growth, offering a notable example to others navigating their own challenges.

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