The Old Woodshed: How I Learned a Painful Lesson

A few days ago, I ran across some reflections I had made after a particularly tough meeting I had a number of years ago. 

I’ll never forget it. 

It was over breakfast and the eggs didn’t go down to well.

Have you ever heard the expression, “Being taken out to the woodshed”? 

The website,, defines it: To punish, reprimand, or reprove someone, especially discreetly, secretly, or in private.

That’s one way to describe it, and if it’s ever happened to you, then you probably could edit that definition a little.

But here’s the deal…

The gentleman I meet with could have/should have handled the meeting a lot differently, but people who are angry and hurt tend to forget niceties and cordiality. 

The bottom line was that I had made a promise in a sidebar conversation and had forgotten to follow up.  And, as painful as it was, my lack of attention at following up on my promises taught me a very important lesson…

Just because you’ve moved on doesn’t mean others have. 

And like a dead rat in the floorboard, your lack of follow up will continue to stink up the place no matter how much you try to ignore it.

The ONE THING for today: One of the best follow-up questions you can ask someone is this two-part question, “Are we okay, have I forgotten something?”   Because, remember…

…just because you’ve moved on doesn’t mean other’s have.  And trust me, the quicker you help them move on, the easier your eggs will go down next time you have breakfast together.

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