My Embarrassing Failure – Part 1

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(Time to read:

Earlier this year, I had a very special opportunity to present NVC to a group of people who are very important to me, and I blew it.

I gave what was probably the worst presentation of my entire life, not just my NVC career.

In this post and the ones in the coming weeks, I’ll be showing you how I work through my shame, guilt, anger, and disappointment with myself – to illustrate how this process works in real life, with some tough stuff.

Step 1 – Identify the Situation

I’ve already done this – it’s that presentation.

The tough part of this step is not actually identifying the situation, it is being willing to face it. Thanks for helping me out with that.

Step 2 – Vent & Notice My Thoughts

I’ve already done the venting part. Now I’m noticing what key thoughts remain. I’ll number them for future reference.

  1. I should never have agreed to present without a flipchart.
  2. I shouldn’t have tried to present so much.
  3. I shouldn’t have tried to get the meeting back on track when it was 20 minutes behind when I started – I should just have presented all of what I had prepared.
  4. My whole approach was wrong. It wasn’t what they were expecting. I should have known better.
  5. I’m a terrible trainer and I should give up trying to share NVC.
    (FYI, For those of you who don’t know me, in virtually every other one of the 400 or so presentations I’ve done, I’ve received very favourable feedback from all or virtually all of the participants. So objectively this is not an accurate statement, but it is a thought / belief that part of me has.)
  6. I’m never going to agree to give a presentation like that again.


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