Mistakes and blind spots

Nov 25, 2019 | Blog | 5 comments

In the course of my job, I’m regularly reminded of my mistakes, inadequacies and blind spots. I heed the advice without taking the criticism personally.

I make mistakes. Not all my responses are adequate. I have blind spots.

Recently a constituent let me know that he felt my actions during the labour disruption in the Saanich schools would not be forgotten in the next election!

“What do you mean?” I asked.

Well, according to this him and some in his coffee group, I did not bring enough “venom” against the government. Apparently I’m too nice.

I accept the critique.

The challenge is balancing the frequency that venom is used and the dose that is delivered in any given situation. Care must be taken. Venom is only one tool and, if it is used too liberally, people grow a resistance to it essentially rendering it ineffectual.

There is no prescriptive guide. Each event in the course of my work requires analysis and action. Sometimes, the event requires immediate attention; in other instances, there is the benefit of time. On some occasions, it takes a while for all the information to be revealed and the initial response requires tuning.

Improving my response

My responses are not perfect. I have made and continue to make mistakes. Over the past decade, I’ve learned a lot about how I respond and, with each new incident, I get more information and have the opportunity to learn and improve. Success comes from remaining receptive to advice and maintaining a healthy balance of confidence and humility.

I have a long way to go. Perfection is not my goal. My goal is quite simply to identify the cracks and close as many of them as I can.

I’ve been a candidate in four elections. From what I’ve experienced in the past, it’s a certainty that in the next election the electorate will remember a lot about the job I did as their provincial representative. They will remember the things they think I did well and they will not have forgotten the things they wished I did better.

The only way to improve is to be willing and open to listen and hear all the thoughts and opinions of my constituents: the good, the bad and the indifferent.

Image by Michael Kleinsasser from Pixabay

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  1. Laurie Noble

    Your consistent willingness to listen and respond repectfully is your strength.

  2. Jan Carroll

    Dear Adam,

    I read your blog this morning “Mistakes and Blind Spots” and I was impressed.
    It was excellent and I know you work hard to listen to your constituents and you are
    honest about your mistakes.
    I am so proud of you and thankful you are our MLA.
    Keep up the good work and thanks for the morning blogs.
    I read everyone.

  3. Beverley Peden

    Your measured, informed and consultative responses are precisely what appeals to me in a candidate….not venom. There are enough toxins floating around our political circles…I look for wisdom and thought, and a willingness to correct a mistake if it is made.

  4. Brian Hutchings

    Venom and vehemence often do far more to make situation worse rather than better. Its easy to dismiss a response that is overly negative. I , for one, appreciate your moderate stance.

  5. Phil

    Hi Adam, not all cracks require closing, unless you are a roadway.
    The lyrics to one of Leonard Cohen’s songs, “Anthem”, are:

    “There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.”

    Thanks for the work you do.


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