The Perfect Pass, and I Dropped the Ball

I was given the perfect opening, and I dropped the ball.

It’s really odd. I had my HR Summit presentation for the Greater Valley Forge Human Resources Association finished a couple months before I had to deliver it. I had plenty of time to learn it. I switched things around several times, including at the last minute because I learned something I had to pass on.

Then, I get into the groove, I was asked a question for which the answer aligned perfectly with the new juicy nugget I wanted to pass on, and not only did I totally whiff on delivering it then, I forgot to deliver it at all!

I shared it in last week’s blog, actually. But I was presented with the perfect practical application of that, which would have served as an eye-opening, a-ha moment for many, I just know it, and I didn’t deliver.

I told everyone to look up and follow Cy Wakeman. I’m sure I got that much out, and I mentioned her insights on open-door policies and a new communication training that if executives and employees alike were both trained in and applied it, careering would be epic on so many more levels. I just failed to demonstrate it when someone confronted me with a perfect scenario.

So, this blog is a make up for my omission that you get to benefit from, as well.

The scenario presented (I’m going to keep this general so as to protect the person who shared,) was that a person was hired to work with leaders in promoting the company, but is not finding leaders participatory.

She was given the following advice, some from me and some from other attendees:

  • Go after the most willing convert
  • Get an influencer on board
  • Ease them in gradually
  • Do it all at once; rip off the Band-Aid

Any of this advice might be right, but the opportunity was not to give advice. Actually, it was to ask self-reflective questions to restore this person’s empowerment.

Things I should have asked her:

  • What do you know for certain?
  • What can do you to move forward?
  • If you were great in this situation, what would that look like? [Great, go do that.]

Instead, I commiserated. I actually said, “That sucks! I’m sorry you’re in such a tough position.”

I’m sure the validation made her feel a little bit better, but what would have felt even better was being able to see clearly what she could do and then being empowered and encouraged to do that.

There’s so much I have yet to learn from Cy, including her views on change management, which so far I discern are contrarian to what I see being implemented in corporate practices. Times are a-changing, though. We all NEED to be able to adapt faster.

This technique of switching from ego-self to higher self in an instant is just one of many potential mini-practices that stand to make a HUGE impact on the everyday work experience.

I know if I had more than a week to practice it, it would have felt like the natural response.

In spite of my regret not sharing it live at the event when the perfect moment presented itself, I’ll assume it worked out for everyone’s favor that I share it this way, and I’ll continue to practice it myself.

It’s what I know I can do, and it feels better to do what I can than to worry about not having done it already.

I also forgot to make sure everyone got my free gift, so click here for a report on Experiential Recruiting.

Karen Huller, author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days (, is founder of Epic Careering, a corporate consulting and career management firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, as well as JoMo Rising, LLC, a workflow gamification company that turns work into productive play.

While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales.

Karen was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends in hiring and careering. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot.

She was an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business, will be an Associate Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department in 2019, and is also an Instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy where her students won the 2018 national competition and were named America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs.

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