Learning from mistakes

When I started my first ‘proper’ job in retail management, my boss called me into his office, said I needed to be good and confident at speaking to groups and immediately set me two tasks. One was to prepare for a short slot at the next management meeting. The other was to go and deliver a presentation to the local WI!!

At the tender age of 21, the WI was by far the scariest. All those old women. (I am now the same age and snort in the face of that youthful arrogance)

But off I went. I delivered my carefully prepared and researched presentation. I asked for questions. Lots of hands went up. But they were all the same question. Where did I get my dress? Did they sell it in-store? (I can’t remember now but it was beautiful and no, it wasn’t from the store where I worked)

A few things strike me about this tale

First of all, I delivered a presentation based on what I wanted to say, not what they needed to hear and therefore it didn’t connect.

Secondly, how cool was my boss? He knew that to progress I needed to be able to speak well to groups. He knew that this needed not just practice but exposure and he was proactive in creating those opportunities for me.

He wasn’t the perfect boss, but I am truly grateful for this nurturing.

Do you agree?


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