Question: I lead the creative department of an advertising company. Three months ago, when a junior team member approached me with his assignment, I was already deeply involved in an urgent deliverable at my end. I refused flatly, not even allowing him to explain the help he needed from me. Turns out that the project was extremely critical and his under-performance got highlighted as his deliverable fell short of client expectations. A lot of time and resource had been spent to build the relationship with the client. The client was lost. This young man`s creative tenure at our firm ended as he quit, and he left without a word to anyone. His talent was lost. Ever after he left, I have been thinking of how to `make-up`. The person who I harmed to this extent that there was no choice for him but to call it quits, how do I explain myself to him` I was so absorbed in my own responsibilities that I was unwilling to share my experience, let alone stretch myself a little. I could not imagine the disproportionate impact of a seemingly small act of mine. As I look back I feel helpless and guilty. What can I do now` Advice: There are multiple things to learn. First, the young person will move on and hopefully learn to express himself better the next time around he needs help. You will learn how to be more aware of what happening in the firm, so you will not make an error in judgement next time. Make a resolution to win the lost client, or do what you can to get another client. Channelize the energy that is wasted feeling guilty into increasing your learning, and earnings of your firm. The good thing is you did not ignore him out of malice. In life two things build a person, a tormentor and a mentor. A tormentor could be another person doing something wrong that effects you or you committing mistakes, that effects you or others. A mentor helps you to overcome the torments, be it from you or others. Another crucial learning is, if you are in a `desperate` situation, ask, ask, ask for help till you get it. Gandhiji`s autobiography, "My experiments with truth" is a chronicle of how he attained personal growth. He candidly writes about his shortcomings and mistakes. Nelson Mandela in an amazing interview with Oprah Winfrey, mentions that there was a time when he hated white minority, but over the years he realized that hating will not resolve the issue, and it would engulf his country into rivers of blood, so he made his head dominate his heart. In life, mistakes need not be taken to the heart, and success need not be taken to the head. We invite you to , it will keep sowing seeds of positive thinking and be like your friendly guide when you face challenges. Create certain goals and commit to them, please remember, empty mind is a devils workshop. Read the book, Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman over the weekend, especially the part that covers Social Skills, it will give you lots of insight as to how to improve your interpersonal skills.

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