Whenever I hear this, it reminds me of day I picked up my wedding dress.
The store was super busy and the bride before me was still being served when I arrived. After waiting 10-minutes the lady came over and said “Maddie, I’m so sorry for making you wait!”
I replied, “No worries… it’s Jess by the way.”
She had a shocked and embarrassed look on her face so I jokingly said, “Seriously, it’s fine. It’s not like you were calling the other girl Jess that whole time.”
I watched her face droop like a Salvador Dali clock as she said, “I was!”
The bride before me obviously didn’t correct it the first time she was called the wrong name – she allowed it to continue. So, by the second or third time, it was way too hard and way too awkward; she was now Jess.
As funny as it was (for me at least), it reminded me of this very important lesson:
What you allow will continue.
This goes for everything from calling someone the wrong name, to not holding your team accountable, to not giving feedback when something needs improving.
Yes, it’s awkward and hard and uncomfortable. But what’s more awkward, hard and uncomfortable is having to address a recurring issue after it’s happened 2, 3, 5 or 10+ times. Or not addressing it at all.
My advice? It’s way better to jump on it the first time.
Rip the band-aid. Nip it in the bud*
The longer you leave it, the harder it is to correct, but if you jump on it the first time it happens, it’s such an easier conversation.
The most effective managers I’ve worked with know how to push past the discomfort of these conversations because they know if they don’t say anything, they are allowing the incorrect behaviour/task/attitude to continue.