Some of the most competent and confident people I know joke about how their GPS system scolds them when they miss a directive. I don’t hear a scolding, I hear a “recalculating” followed by a revised instruction. But it happens often enough to demonstrate that even feedback that is clearly not personal – like a computer voice telling you that you missed your turn – can bring up shame and defensiveness.
I smell a business opportunity. Someone needs to create a GPS system for people with low self-esteem. It will affirm the driver, counter negative self-talk, and shine a light on the positive.
Here are a few starter phrases. Remember, this is the GPS talking.
- Wow. I never thought about getting there this way. Would you prefer I reroute you, or get you back on the previous route?
- I’m sorry. Perhaps I wasn’t clear. You were supposed to turn back there.
- It’s just a missed turn. It’s not failure, it’s feedback.
- Everybody makes mistakes. Even me.
- Think of all the things you learned from taking this wrong turn.
- You are one wrong turn closer to a right one.
- You may have made a bad turn, but that doesn’t make you a bad person!
- Everything teaches you something. What are you learning from your wrong turn?
- It wasn’t the way I recommend, but you’re the driver.
- How creative!
Contribute and win
Now it’s your turn. What will your sensitive GPS tell you? Post a suggested phrase in my comments below. I’ll collect them and put it to a vote. The provider of the selected phrase will get a $100 coupon for any SpeakStrong products.
Plus the fun of playing with phrases.