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Can you admit when you are wrong or don’t know what you are doing?



I had an issue with my new laptop. I accessed the Dell customer service chat feature only to be told 10 minutes into the chat that my problem had to be handled by a live person and should only take 10 minutes. I called. I was rerouted to the Philippines. The gentleman was nice and did all the customer service things and said all the right things….even told me my problem would be fixed in “no time” and I would make my dinner plans. He asked if he could take control of my PC to fix the problem quicker. 2.5 hours later my computer wasn’t fixed and he had messed it up worse. I know what you are thinking…why didn’t you just tell him to forget it and hang up. Two reasons, he had control of my computer and tired of hearing me ask questions put me on hold while he wandered through my machine. At 1.0 hour I asked him if he had any idea what he was doing to which he said, “Yes, I am an expert!” He wasn’t! I finally escaped and figured it out myself two days later. The point is not terrible customer service the point is humility. Whether a technical issue or a personal issue….can you actually admit with a humble heart when you are wrong or don’t know what you are doing? Do you have that kind of courage or do you get defensive, make excuses or over-explain? Try this:


1. Acknowledge your limitations
2. Seek assistance or hand it over if you don’t know what to do
3. If it’s a conversation shock people by acknowledging their perceptions
4. Be transparent
5. Humbly and without excuse, acknowledge the impact it had on the circumstances

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Years ago I was approached by an organization that wanted to do things differently. They asked me if I believed there was a way to make the development of leaders more predictable.

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