That ONE bad experience

A big part of keeping the strategy of speaking gigs running smoothly is to confirm (sometimes more than once) that you have ALL the right details for an event, time, date, venue (aka Zoom link), etc, etc.

 And confirming is very simple… or at least it sounds that way.

 The reality of it is you’re not dealing with a computer that will give you a Yes or No response when you reach out to it. There’s a human being involved… and they won’t always respond the way you expect them to.

 Recently I interacted with an unresponsive event organizer who was not thrilled with our process. After several interactions where we were all getting increasingly frustrated, we mutually decided to cancel the speaking gig. NOT an ideal outcome, and it left me feeling stung.

But my attitude at that point was to put it all behind me, be grateful for the great way Mary and the rest of the team handled the situation and just learn from it.

That is until I got an email from another event organizer on the very same week.

 This organizer didn’t really see the point to filling out the form we use to confirm event details, almost following the script from that last disappointing experience. So, you can imagine why I thought another unfortunate outcome was on its way.

 To make matters worse, after rescheduling a call to explain things for the second time, she finally decided to provide details via  Zoom… but then didn’t show up.

 I was starting to give up hope, but then I decided to use one of the best tools Mary has given me: the power of a short Loom video.

 I recorded a quick video on why the form was important for us to prepare and why it was also helpful for her as an organizer. I sent it and wished for the best.

 The very next day I got the notification that she submitted the form and, to top things off, a very nice email with an apology and just an overall tone that restored my faith in humanity (or at least in event organizers).

 The whole experience was really an eye opener that left me with these 3 takeaways:

  1. Assume the best instead of hope for the best. The whole “assume the worst and hope for the best” philosophy  can be dangerous when it starts to determine your expectations. By “hoping for the best” you’re opening the possibility in your mind for something to go wrong, and it sets your brain into that problem solving mode that consumes time and energy… when there isn’t even a problem to solve yet! Assuming the best means truly believing that things will turn out alright, and letting the situation unfold without feeling anxious about the outcome.
  2. Let perspective keep you from being on guard. Out of the hundreds of regular, and sometimes very positive, experiences I’ve had with event hosts, I let this single one affect me so much that it actually conditioned my response. At the first glance of trouble I immediately put my shields up. The good will almost always outweigh the bad, but we focus so much on negative feelings we lose perspective and end up getting defensive to protect ourselves from ever feeling that way again.
  3. Get yourself a good team and just… laugh it out. I could talk about the importance of a good support system and having someone to count on, but to me one of the biggest parts of having a team of people around you is to be able to look at a crappy situation, do your best to tackle it, and then just crack jokes about it.  There’s nothing like a little sense of humor to let go of frustration and just make the best out of cards you have.

By: Luciana Bottini – Mary’s assistant

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