I Should Have Said…


ContemplationEver leave a conversation and think: “I should have said…”?

A coaching client of mine who is a lawyer related to me how he realized that he had missed an opportunity for new business during a meeting with his client. Here is how the conversation went:

Lawyer: My client and I talked about the business and his family.
Me: What were you thinking about when he mentioned the opportunity you think you missed?
Lawyer: Actually, I was thinking about a deposition I had to take later that day.

Charlie Green’s recent blog “Does Multitasking Ruin Your Ability to Multitask?” addresses how multitasking – while on the phone, watching TV, taking in scenery – affects our ability to get things done effectively. Isn’t it also multitasking when one is ‘just’ thinking about something else?

And wouldn’t it be interesting if our minds and our bodies were in the same place at the same time? Perhaps we would process and act on information in real time, and not have to say "I should have said…" Then again, that’s where we sometimes find ourselves.  Then what?

I suggested a simple fix for the lawyer’s lack of mindfulness. He could address the issue head-on by applying the skill of Name it and Claim It.  Say to the client: “When I left your office, I realized that you had a concern you might have wanted to discuss, and I missed it at the time.   Is that something you’d still like to talk about?”

What about you?  Do you have something you’d like to talk about – an "I should have said" story, and how you fixed it?