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What We Can Learn from our Regrets (With Video)

by | May 12, 2022 | Asking For a Friend Featured |

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Organizations that provide psychological safety will reduce boldness regrets and get greater capacity out of their team.

I caught up with Dan Pink, author of The Power of Regret just after his fantastic keynote at the HR SHRM Virginia Conference in this special episode of Asking for a Friend. 

In his research collecting 20,000 regrets from people all over the world, Dan found trends of four types of regret. I asked him about one so related to our Courageous Cultures research—the regret of boldness.

The regret of boldness is evident in people who say things like,

“If only I’d taken the chance.”
“I wish I had started a company.”
“If only I’d spoken up.”

These regrets aren’t just the responsibility of the individual. Organizations that provide psychological safety help empower their people to not experience such regrets.

How can you do that? In everyday leadership operations. For example,

If someone disagrees with you, thank them for disagreeing. If they make a mistake that’s not colossal, celebrate it for the sake of learning.

You won’t regret it.

regrets and what we can learn from them with Dan Pink

Some of the Best Quotes from Dan Pink’s The Power of Regret

“Regret makes us human, regret makes us better.”

“By making us feel worse today, regret makes us better tomorrow.”

“Understanding its effects hones our decisions, boosts are performance, and bestows a deeper sense of meaning.”

“The lesson of closed doors is to do better next time. The lesson of open doors is to do better now.”

“We regret foregone opportunities more than unfulfilled obligations.”

More Interesting Quotes from Other Voices on Regret

“If only. Those must be the saddest two words in the world.” – Mercedes Lackey

“Spend time with those you love. One of these days you will say either, I wish I had, or I’m glad I did” – Zig Ziglar

“Life is too short, time is too precious, and the stakes too high to dwell on what might have been.”  – Hilary Clinton

“I would rather regret the things I have done than the things I have not.” – Lucille Ball

Your turn.

What regrets do you have? What can you do about it now? Are you leading people who may have regrets? How can you help?

Karin Hurt

Karin Hurt helps human-centered leaders find clarity in uncertainty, drive innovation, and achieve breakthrough results.  She’s the founder and CEO of Let’s Grow Leaders, an international leadership development and training firm known for practical tools and leadership development programs that stick. She’s the award-winning author of four books including Courageous Cultures: How to Build Teams of Micro-Innovators, Problem Solvers, and Customer Advocates and Winning Well: A Manager’s Guide to Getting Results-Without Losing Your Soul and a hosts the popular Asking For a Friend Vlog on LinkedIn. A former Verizon Wireless executive, Karin was named to Inc. Magazine’s list of great leadership speakers. Karin and her husband and business partner, David Dye, are committed to their philanthropic initiative, Winning Wells – building clean water wells for the people of Cambodia.

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