Nothing is worse than suffering the embarrassment associated with a blunder, especially when the blooper occurs with a critical account or client! Goofs and gaffes are a normal part of doing business (unless you’re a robot). Regardless, being able to minimize any unnecessary slip ups is best.
Did you know that the term “egg on your face” originated in the days of ole…so, the tale goes. Folklore has it that incompetent actors were pelted with eggs during rowdy theatrical performances to force the actor offstage. “Getting the hook” would have been better.
Although embarrassing situations can’t also be avoided, here are 6 tips to keep as much of the egg off your face as possible:
1. Don’t do drama. When something potentially embarrassing occurs, don’t over exaggerate the impact. Stay calm and carry on.
2. Keep white lies to a minimum. They have a way of coming back to bite you when you least expect it.
3. Avoid email autopilot. As we become more comfortable with technology, complacency can set in. Fess up! Who hasn’t sent an email to an unintended recipient (especially one about them)!? Ugh. Be sure your email program has a sending delay to catch any of these mistakes and avoid egg on your face.
4. Don’t write in an email what you wouldn’t say to one’s face. See #3.
5. Use “mental filters” on social media. What is posted on social media can get you “fired” by a client. Check your settings to make sure you have the best security possible. Or, better yet, don’t post anything on social media that you would not be proud to share with your top client — or your mother.
6. Don’t overestimate results. You’ve seen the ads for making your business #1 on Google. Or, how about the ones that promise to make you $20,000/month in one month? You don’t have to go to that extreme to overpromise on results. Better to under promise and avoid the embarrassment when an important client brings results you promised to your attention.
7. Test technology before use. Nothing! I repeat, nothing is worse than needing to deliver a flawless presentation on a key account and have your technology go belly up. Talk about egg on your face! Test any and all technology prior to critical meetings and be sure to have a backup plan — just in case.
Ending up with egg on your face is disconcerting. But, with a little forethought, you can keep your embarrassment to a minimum with preparation, sincerity, and humility.
Care to share your most embarrassing moment and how you handled it?