I don’t get starstruck easily. But apparently, I’m not immune.
Most of you know I’m a foodie. I love to cook, used to regularly have the Food Network on in the background, and have more photo albums full of recipes than of pictures of people.
One of my favorite celebrity chefs is Lydia Bastianich, an icon of Italian cuisine and near-permanent PBS fixture. So when I found out she was coming to Philadelphia to promote her latest book, I was excited to hear her speak, meet her in person and of course have her sign a copy for me.
I do have one pet peeve as a chef: It bugs me when a recipe doesn’t include the courtesy of a time estimate for how long it will take to prepare the dish. In meal planning, my decisions will change if I know something takes 25 minutes to prepare vs. two hours or longer. Don’t make me guess!
Unfortunately, none of Lydia’s recipes include prep time estimates. So I also thought that while she was signing my book, it would be the perfect opportunity to humbly request that she consider including prep time estimates in future cookbooks. After all, it couldn’t hurt to ask, and would make people even happier, right?
The day came. I went to the beautiful Philadelphia public library where her event was, listened to her tell stories, then dutifully got in line to have her sign my book.
Finally it was my turn. But in the blink of an eye she was done and I was being ushered toward the door to leave, when I suddenly realized I hadn’t made my request.
On reflex, I whirled around and heard myself blurt out: “Oh! Lydia! You know what you need to do? You need to add prep times to your recipes!”
There was a split second of silence as she – and the other zillion people still in line in the cavernous, marbled, echoing atrium – stared at me.
“Oh, I do?” was all she said. Then turned her attention back to signing the next person’s book.
I felt like a total moron.
That was NOT what I had planned to say AT ALL! I’d had the exact words planned out in my head, but what got blurted out made the exact opposite impression from what I wanted to make.
I desperately wanted a do-over. But interrupting her again to apologize, to explain, to make the respectful – and respectable – request I had planned to say, etc. would just have extended everyone else’s time in line, when I’d already had my turn.
Plus, I rationalized, she didn’t know me from Eve or care about my opinion, so it was just my ego needing exoneration and forgiveness. So I tucked my tail between my legs and left the library.
Should I have created a “do over” opportunity? It’s too late now.
But when it’s NOT too late, having the courage and vision to make amends with a do-over can be a beautiful thing.
And sometimes, it’s not even about a do-over for yourself!
As an example, on this week’s episode of Speaking to Influence, Dana Reyngoudt, VP of Partnership Marketing at NBCUniversal, shared how she sometimes uses do-over conversations with employees when needed to help them understand why they didn’t get a promotion, and get clear on what they need to do to make sure that next time around they are successful in getting it.
She compared the effects of these conversations on her relationships with those employees as well as on their career progress, relative to earlier experiences in her career when she did not have those conversations. They may never be easy conversations, but in the long run, NOT having them is much harder!
Dana also shares insights on how she came to realize that she was speaking to her family in the same way as if they were work colleagues or employees… and unsurprisingly, why that didn’t work. More importantly, she explained how she chose to listen, adapt, and find the best communication tactics for each situation: at work with her team and at home with her family, respectively.
And here’s one more great opportunity for you:
Last Friday, August 19, we had a jam-packed 30-minute LinkedIn Live & YouTube Live conversation with tons of immediately actionable take-away points inside 3 Simple Marketing Hacks to build your brand and Grow Your Business with marketing expert Kimberley Day.
If you missed it live, you can still catch the replay here. The conversation was fun and fast and full of gold nuggets on how to grow your business and your brand.
Do you plan to eat lunch? Go for a walk? Wash dishes? Prep dinner? Tune in to listen then – you’ll have fun, the time will fly, and you’ll get tons of great ideas.
Aaaaand, yes – it sounds just as good when I say that out loud! (*whew!*)