Anyone ever have that important meeting they’d been preparing for go all awkward on them? I mean completely awkward. As in , “I had a plan for how I was going to run this meeting” turned into “This meeting is not turning out how I thought” turned into “Oh crap I just embarrassed myself” awkward. Not fun, right?
This is definitely something I’ve experienced! In presenting myself and my business, it took a turn (or maybe several turns…) into that uncomfortable territory. You know the one I mean–awkward silences, five people staring at you, your mouth has gone dry, and no matter how hard you try to get back on track everything just works against you. Yeah, those are no fun.
Try as I might, I just couldn’t stop replaying the whole ordeal in my head. “Why did I have to say that?!” or “Why didn’t I say this?” are just a couple phrases that come to mind. (There may have been a few four-letter words thrown in that I don’t care to repeat here. And my husband will never repeat them either…I hope!) I do admit I’m a perfectionist, and probably the hardest on myself of anyone I have met or ever will meet. Unfortunately though, what happened has happened. It’s done. I can’t change a thing.
And maybe that’s okay. Instead of agonizing over what you could have said, or wish you wouldn’t have said, at that really awkward meeting…try to learn from it. Use that experience to prepare yourself for the next meeting or presentation that takes a complete detour from what you were prepared for. You can’t always have the perfect answer for every question, but you can learn from your mistakes. Make a list of ways you wish you would have handled the situation, and grow from it. If you were honest in that weird, uncomfortable situation, and you honestly tried, then that’s okay. You did your best with the information you had at the time. Above all, you were honest. (And quite possibly honestly awkward, in my case!) That’s all anyone can ask of you! Be you, be honest, and if things go awkward on you…well, there’s always the next time!