You never get a second chance at a first impression — which Barbara Corcoran learned the day she met her “Shark Tank” co-star Mark Cuban.
That initial encounter was Corcoran’s “most embarrassing moment on ‘Shark Tank,'” the Corcoran Group founder said in a recent TikTok video outlining the incident. As she recounted, it was 5:30 a.m. and she was rushing to the show’s set when she was greeted with an unfamiliar face.
“When I jumped in the van, I see this guy sitting in the back seat. And I was surprised, because I always had the van to myself,” Corcoran said.
Her assumption: This must be a bellboy.
She asked him to help move her luggage into the van, and he happily obliged. When they got to the set, she also asked if he could bring her bags into her trailer. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary, until Corcoran took her place on set a few hours later.
“I look at the guy next to me, and it’s the luggage guy sitting in the seat next to me,” she said. “So I said to him, ‘What are you doing here?'”
His response: “I’m Mark Cuban. Nice to meet you.”
Cuban, the billionaire owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, joined “Shark Tank” as guest Shark in 2011, during its second season, and became a main investor a season later. Corcoran was one of the show’s original investors.
“Of course I [remember it],” Cuban tells CNBC Make It, adding: “It was fun. I was excited to meet Barbara. I would have cooked her lunch if she asked. So carrying her bags and being a gentleman for her was easy.”
In the 12 years since, Cuban and Corcoran have built a good-natured working relationship, from partnering on investment deals and trading compliments to challenging each other when needed.
Still, Corcoran’s embarrassment from their first meeting was plenty relatable. If you find yourself in a similar situation, experts recommend an easy recovery tactic: a well-timed apology.
Quickly acknowledging your mistake and — if applicable — offering up a plan to fix it can help rectify some of that initial awkwardness. It also keeps you from dwelling on your blunder, Wharton psychologist Maurice Schweitzer told CNBC Make It last year.
“If you recognize a mistake, it takes assertiveness to say, ‘Here’s the error. I want you to know about it and I’m going to take these corrective actions,'” Schweitzer said. “Stating your intentions specifically, I think, is a powerful and often constructive thing to do.”
Disclosure: CNBC owns the exclusive off-network cable rights to “Shark Tank.”
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