I’ve previously mentioned my teenage experience in drum corps and marching band. I didn’t fully grasp or appreciate it then, but those experiences offered valuable learning opportunities and life lessons. One of those lessons is the skill of recovery.
Our instructors drilled into us the concept of a good recovery. The goal is always a flawless, perfect show every time you hit the field, which is why you work your butt off every rehearsal and performance. But when you make a mistake, what matters more than the mistake itself is how to recover.
Recovery on the Marching Field
In the middle of a show, what if you lost your place, turned the wrong direction on the field, threw your rifle in the air, missed the catch, or hit a wrong note on your horn? What would you do? Would you stop everything and start the show over? Run off the field in embarrassment? Sigh and walk around aimlessly for the next two minutes thinking about what a doofus you are.
Of the options above, which of those responses benefits you or someone else? The simple answer is that NONE of them do. In the world of marching band and drum corps, you train yourself to recover immediately from mistakes.
You never draw attention to your mistake; you simply experience it, accept it, and do whatever it takes to recover and get back in formation. The show must go on!
As a kid of 15, this mindset and commitment to quick recovery was a valuable lesson for me to observe in others and practice myself.
Recovery in the Field of Life
It’s awesome to pursue excellence in life, but nobody expects you to be perfect (except maybe YOU). Because all of life is learning, when you make a mistake or experience a challenge, disappointment, or a full-on crud sandwich, remember you always have a choice.
You can choose to focus on what’s wrong and what happened, call attention to it, have a pity party, spend time blaming people and let it derail you all day (or all week)!
Whether you’ve made a mistake in your personal life or business, how you recover matters. How you handle mistakes either improves or diminishes your reputation and the relationships in question. Sometimes the way you handle a mistake can do more for the relationship than if everything had gone perfectly!
Here’s how to recover well when things go sideways!
- Take responsibility for your part of the situation.
- Identify where things went off track.
- Identify what you could have done and will do differently next time.
- Make amends if necessary.
- Acknowledge the growth opportunity as such.
- Move forward with new learning in your pocket for the future!
Every person and every company makes mistakes. It’s not the end of the world, but how you handle it makes all the difference.
Health and Arȇte,
Monica Ricci spent 20 years as an organizing and productivity consultant, speaker, and trainer. Today she coaches busy professionals and business teams, replacing unproductive habits with powerful ones so they can create the life and business they desire and deserve. Monica enjoys learning, baseball, travel, and high-quality butter.