Don’t should all over yourself..
It is pointless to mention what someone should’ve done because it is impossible to control the past. So don’t say things like ” shoulda…” and expect anyone around you to work some crazy time travelling miracles. Leave should where it belongs, in the past. What we do is all about the present and the future.
Using the word should only reinforces negative mistakes by reminding people that it was a mistake. Drawing the attention back to the mistake every time they try again, because all they can think about is the escape not to make. No one can ever go back and do what they should’ve done though.
Think how many times you think to yourself something like “I should have got gas at the store,” or “I should have spent more time with them when I had the chance.”
These are natural thoughts, but it is unfair to bind yourself to the past and it is unnecessary to do that to learn from a mistake and move to the future.
You are running late to work or somewhere important you promised that you would be. Your alarm didn’t go off that morning. It took you 10 minutes longer to get dressed because you couldn’t find your sock. Then you had trouble getting your car started and going down the road. You get down the road a little ways and get stuck in traffic due to a wreck, then you get rear ended yourself as someone bumps into the back of your vehicle. You exchange information and make a note to contact the insurance company. You get nearly where you are supposed to go and realized that you forgot the project or work you had promised to bring with everything else going on that morning.
Now you go to explain that to the person you are going to meet, is it very helpful if they are irritated and answer that you should had grabbed it this morning? That you should had thought about that as it was the whole reason you were leaving the house? Not very helpful at this moment is it? That’s not really being a good #teammate, which is part of being a great leader.
Responses with should have in them are set ups for failure. When you say something like that to someone, or think it about yourself, you are handing over an impossible task, they likely won’t really know how to respond, because they don’t exactly have anything they can do about it now. So without giving a person an option to actually fix the future, this is not going to go anywhere.
Instead of using the words should have.. consider these responses to the above scenerio:
“you woke up late today? Sounds like a rough morning, can you run back and get it now?”
“Wouldn’t hurt to get a backup alarm if that one isn’t going off sometimes, can you make sure to bring me everything you have tomorrow?”
These give an option to move forward to fix the mistake now, instead of focusing on the past mistake.
How does this relate to you?
Instead of telling a yourself anything that you should have done, focus on finding a way to do it better next time! Sometimes you realize you were unprepared, it happens to everyone.
It doesn’t help you to berate yourself without giving yourself a chance to find any options of fixing it or escape.
Should gives an option, must does not.