Tag Archives: apologizing

Moments Matter

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In an instant, you can change your mind. You change the impression you had of someone, or you decide something is not a good idea after all. Politics is full of these moments.

General David Petraeus had to resign after being caught in an extra-marital affair. In a moment, questions arose about his military judgment. If he were so unwise as to have an affair, and leave an easily detected electronic trail, what other mistakes could he have made? In a moment, beliefs about his worthiness shifted.

Supporters of Barack Obama watched helplessly during the first debate of the 2012 election as he showed a decidedly un-presidential demeanor and lost credibility for the undecided voters. Romney also had his moment that evening, as he appeared “presidential” (whatever that means) for the first time during the campaign. In a moment, the performance of both changed the direction of movement of the campaign. Suddenly it appeared possible that Romney might actually win.

In France, in the first six months of François Hollande’s presidency saw his popularity dramatically drop to a 36% approval rating. As I watched his grueling official press conference at the end of the first six months, lasting over two and a half hours, François Hollande had his moment. “I can understand the doubts that have been expressed. The only valid question in my eyes is not the state of public opinion today but the state of France in five years’ time.” He successfully reframed the issues of the day: Today is not what counts. Popularity doesn’t matter — results over the long term are what matters.

Moments matter in communication.

Everything you say and do affects the emotional state of other people.

Everything you say and do determines what they believe about you and your whole organization.

The above examples illustrate these “Power Principles”.

But let’s think about everyday communication — what moments have you had that created a positive or negative impression? Was that your intention? How can you avoid the missteps that leave a trail of damaged or broken relationships?

How to Succeed Your Key Moments

Here are some tips on mastering the “moment”:

  1. Take a look at what you are doing. If your actions were known, how would they affect your credibility? Would people still trust you? Would they still respect you? Would they still like you?
  2. Assess risks: Sometimes you have to do or say things that risk upsetting others or making you unpopular. Ask yourself, who will benefit from this? How can I say or do this in a respectful way? I recently emailed some colleagues about what I felt was a lack of content in their presentation — I risked hurting their feelings, but I felt the opportunity to improve would be lost if I didn’t say what I felt. And I thought they could do a better job on their upcoming book if they got some input. I will see how they respond.
  3. Take feedback seriously. The worst mistakes are often made by people who believe they are better, more important or more knowledgeable than others. If we dismiss what others tell us, then we lose the opportunity to continuously improve. People who are highly Internal or Macho (Please see my article the Macho Test) often refuse to consider any opinion different from their own. I hate being criticized, but I know that once I lick my wounds and get over my hurt feelings, there is usually something really useful that I need to incorporate.
  4. Be what you aspire to be. Social scientist Amy Cuddy revealed the link between body language and your own beliefs about yourself. Want to be more confident? Sit or walk confidently for 2 minutes. That’s all it takes.
  5. Adopt helpful beliefs. I like to believe that even if they don’t look like it, most people want to have fun. Is it true? I don’t care.

 Moments matter. 

Just a reminder about our LAB Profile Consultant/Trainer Certification Program coming up August 12 – 23, 2013 in Belgium. We are offering a $600 discount for the first 11 registrants! Hope you will be there.



If you are interested in booking me (Shelle Rose Charvet) for a presentation, keynote or workshop contact me at [email protected]. Please visit my speaking page too.


Get Someone to Apologize to You – Shelle’s Top Tips

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Recently I received an email from a woman who told me how badly she felt for many many years because when she was young her father married a woman and she felt like she’d been abandoned for her father’s new wife and his new step-daughter.  She asked me how she could get him to apologize for all of this. Now here is the bottom line, you can’t make someone apologize. I know we would love to; I would love to get politicians to apologize for screwing up my country. But then we live in a democracy and they have to do something about it.  So what do you do if you want to get someone to apologize?

Well here is the thing, breathe deeply, be clear on what happened and how you felt.  You can talk to them about it, but it’s up to them to decide whether or not they are going to apologize. So here is what I would suggest for this person for example.   Pick a relaxed time with that person. Don’t ever do it in a place where you’ve had a confrontation or a fight, but a time when you are both sitting around speaking casually and start really gently.

You can say something like. “There is something I have been meaning to tell you.” The worst thing you can say is, “I need to talk to you.”  We do that sometimes and that just puts the other person’s defenses right up.  But if you say very gently, “There is something I have been meaning to tell you…” and then tell them what happened and your feelings about it.

So in this example you can say, “When I was little, and you got married again, we didn’t have a lot of time to spend together and I felt like you spent more time with your new wife and daughter and I didn’t feel you had any time for me.”  Then you tell them what you felt about it  “I felt very lonely and abandoned and I really missed my father.”  And then you need to end in some way that leaves an opening for the other person. Tell them how much you love them and tell them why you are telling them.

So in this case, she could say, “I am telling you this now because I love you and I think it’s important that you know how I felt.”  Or if it’s not someone that you love, you could say, “I am telling you this because I care for you.”

Now the end of that story is that she did tell her father those things and he said it was wrong and that he was sorry.  So you never know what can happen, you need to leave the door open.

Check out  www.ShellesTopTips.com  If you want some tips on communicating and solving some of the problems.

If you are interested in booking me (Shelle Rose Charvet) for a presentation, keynote or workshop contact me at [email protected].  Please visit my speaking page too.

Apologizing – Shelle’s Top Tips

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Most of us avoid apologizing because we feel ashamed of something we’ve done and we’d really rather it was water under the bridge and we don’t ever have to think about it again. But, you know, apologizing is one of the best things you can do to maintain good relationships because Continue reading