I’m writing this letter to revisit a question you asked me in a recent conversation about running a feature on my book. I responded with feet in mouth struggling to capture a 30 second palatable sound byte or low hanging fruit that had you wanting more or better yet scheduling me for a full-blown feature in our local paper.
Have you ever wanted to write your interviewer a letter asking for a do-over? The aforementioned letter is an example of just that. When faced with the thought of being judged for the quality of our work, it is not uncommon to clam up. Kudos to those who sail through life able to dodge the missteps. For those of us who dare shine a light on our vulnerable selves (thank you Brene Brown), I suggest the following tips to bounce back.
- Most important - forgive yourself and move from the place of ruminating over the experience. There is no joy from continuously beating yourself up. Instead, glean the lessons, document them with a response entitled “Next time I will ...
- I am reminded of the glass is half full half empty concept. Your perspective may need some tweaking to allow yourself to see the positives from the conversation. By all means, lean into the positives to shift your mood.
- If possible, find a win in the declining conversation to position yourself in a positive light. Give an example of another idea that may be of interest to the interviewer. In my case, I pitched my second book. Even though it’s a work in progress, I was able to generate interest for a future interview. This renewed energy shifted the conversation into a new direction which emboldened me to follow up with an ask.
- Be vulnerable and send a thank you note sharing your thoughts on the conversation. This is a tough one. You may need to watch Brene Brown’s Ted Talk on vulnerability to muster the courage to admit you weren’t your best self. By writing this note, you have an opportunity to reframe yourself in a positive light. Give it a try!
- Seek out another win to offset this experience by accelerating success. Delivering a flawless interview will remind you of your capabilities to get the job done. My mom had a lot of wisdom that I was reluctant to act upon in my younger days. As I get older, I have a better appreciation for the messages she instilled. She always says, Moni, that's my nickname, remember when one door closes, another one opens. Not necessarily what you want to hear in a scenario that you botched but in hindsight, helpful to reframe next steps to seek the win. To date, she has been always right on this point.
Thank you for our recent call. I’m grateful for the opportunity to learn from your experience as a reporter. Truth be told, I was a little nervous to talk to you about a project so near and dear to my heart. I feel overjoyed to have released it into the world and if I can touch one life, then the journey will have been well worth it.
The Achievement Unlocked: Strategies to Set Goals and Manifest Them book is unique because it gives a framework for achieving goals through my own lens that has allowed me to achieve some great things in life. This includes promotions, achieving higher education, owning a home, starting a business and of course writing this book.
Can you see that by taking control of the situation, you reclaim the driver seat role in your life? If a situation doesn’t go to your liking, you are empowered to affect change. For many of us, we feel like that’s it and game over. No, the game has just begun and the next move is yours.
I welcome your thoughts and perspectives on your experiences. How do you handle interviews or conversations that don’t go as planned?
Simone Morris is CEO of Simone Morris Enterprises LLC. She is the author of Achievement Unlocked: Strategies to Set Goals and Achieve Them. Her company offers workshops and retreats on designing your life on your own terms. Applications are now being accepted for her upcoming Mastermind launching late February 2018. Learn more at http://www.simonemorris.com