Regrets can take many forms – that opportunity not taken, that relationship which collapsed, the hurt feelings from harsh words – and each category can pitch you into a conundrum of feelings from mild discomfort to downright depression.

My story is a true story, one that I have shared with potential employers when on a job interview when they ask you to describe a challenging situation, because it is a lesson that helped me change and it made me a better person. I am not sure the potential employer thought that because I did not get the job, but that is a story for another time.

All rights have responsibilities, risks, and rewards. The regrets part does not have to happen, yet for me performing my responsibilities (at work) as part of the rewards (aka paycheck), I took a risk and ended up regretting it. One of my job responsibilities was employee evaluation. I had not done due diligence and spoken with the employee about some performance concerns I had with their work prior to spending time in a formal evaluation. When I subsequently reviewed my observations with the employee after the formal evaluation, they immediately took offense at my impressions, and rightly so.

I take full responsibility for not investing the time to prep the employee for my expectations, train them on how the job could best be done and how the tone of my evaluation impacted them. In other words, the risk I took in rushing to finish the responsibility directly caused my regrets.

Mea culpa. I am guilty.

Sometimes the risk outweighs the rewards, sometimes the risk leads to regrets, sometimes regrets lead to redemption.

The redeeming part of this story is that I have learned to become more aware of how my words and actions impact other people. I have learned that proper preparation prevents poor performance. And I have learned that regrets can lead to positive changes!

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