Woulda Shoulda #2: How to Resolve Lingering Regrets

 In Honorable Closure (HC), Resolving Regrets

Woulda Shoulda #2: How to Resolve Lingering Regrets

“Make the most of your regrets. To regret deeply is to live afresh.”

In our second meeting, I took Shannon through a process to identify and resolve any lingering regrets. Everyone makes mistakes and everyone has regrets that make them wince. “Woulda-Shoulda.”

Regrets are hard won and a precious gift if you can take the lesson.
Once you take the lesson and integrate it, you don’t have to repeat it. This process makes it easier to let go and move on. Check out this 2 minute video of me talking about this: “The Gifts of Regrets”

I asked Shannon, “Were there any red flags from the beginning of the engagement? …Things that you might have chosen to ignore or dismiss?”

From that inquiry, she saw how she truncated her own, well-established on-boarding process, giving in to pressure from the persistent, in-her-face CEO. Instead of holding steady and insisting on a full-day visioning process that she knows is critical to the creative process for both agency and client, she agreed to a half-day. Not only that, instead of holding it off-site to foster focus and relaxation, she acquiesced and held it at the client’s boardroom where they were interrupted several times.

Shannon has a wicked sense of humor and likes to make work fun. Clients usually leave her one-day sessions jacked up and happy. Besides generating ideas and clarity, she uses these meetings to connect, deepen the relationship and establish ground rules for how the teams will work together. But this meeting was rushed and the vibe was flat. You can’t hurry fun and relating. She and her team left disappointed, but they pressed on, believing it would all work out.

So, in order to help her resolve these regrets, we made a list of other red flags and regrets. It became obvious that all of the problems stemmed from getting the engagement off on the wrong foot. If she could go back, Shannon would stand her ground and insist—as the expert she is—that her process was in everyone’s best interests. It had been written into the contract as something she and her team would deliver, but there was no language (or discussion) requiring the client to step up, and she didn’t enforce it. She’d never needed that before.

Upon reflection, Shannon saw how she got hypnotized by the money and the flash of the client’s sexy product line. She got caught up in pleasing the client and ignored her intuition. In so doing, she let herself, her team and the client down. It was hard to admit, but she had to agree with the CEO that the storyboards and other work her team came up with were not up to her usual standards, thus giving him the rope he used to hang her.

I welcome your comments and or questions about this post here on Facebook.

Note: This is the second in the three-part series of blog posts. Click here to read Part 1. Part 3 will be posted on 11/20. Subscribe here and never miss a post. Related posts:
3 Powerful Ways to Reconcile Criticism
Make the Most of Your Regrets
If Only