I’m not going to say that I enjoy making mistakes… but I certainly don’t dread them. In fact, where I once use to dry-heave upon the discovery of my mistakes, these days I see them as a wonderful opportunity to impress my piano teaching clients. I’m sometimes even tempted to make piano teaching mistakes on purpose (at least that’s the excuse I’ll use for my occasional blunders).
So how do I turn a negative into a positive?
Let me use an embarrassing example from my past.
Towards the end of last year I signed up a new piano student for a short 6-week “trial” session. I scheduled the student to begin 2 weeks following her initial inquiry, wrote it down on my calendar, and went about my routine as usual.
Well, around that same time my husband surprised me with tickets to Wicked the Musical and a weekend away. The only problem was that I would have to reschedule my Friday piano students. As I never miss teaching days, I didn’t mind phoning my Friday kids and rescheduling them for another day just this once.
The only problem was…
Unfortunately, I forgot to contact my new piano student who had just recently signed up. It was a horrible oversight. So, while I was jetting off for a wonderful weekend, my brand new piano student was arriving at a cold, empty, dark studio… ahh! Realizing my mistake as we sat on the ferry leaving the island, I contacted the student’s mom, apologized profusely, and scheduled a “make-up” piano lesson (already… sigh) for the following week. After the phone call, I sent another email from my phone apologizing profusely again.
When the student arrived for her make-up piano lesson the next week, instead of looking sheepish and embarrassed, I owned up to my mistake, insisted to her parents that they need not pay for the first four lessons, and then taught an unbelievably enjoyable piano lesson!
Overkill?… Not at All
I could tell immediately after the lesson that not only had I made up for my piano teaching blunder, but I had clearly made new friends! Her parents were thrilled with their daughter’s lessons and my piano studio. Instead of looking like a flake, going that extra mile to remedy my blunder communicated to my clients that I am someone who is genuinely concerned about operating a professional and successful business and about making people happy.
It also communicates to my clients that I don’t make mistakes often… after all, how could my studio possibly survive if I’m giving away $100 worth of piano lessons on a regular basis?!
Don’t be afraid of making a mistake… be afraid of not properly fixing the mistakes you make.