5 Steps for Dealing with Mistakes at Work

Posted by on February 13, 2014 at 3:55 pm.

by Melissa Mickelsen, CCE, Geneva Rock Products, Inc.

We’ve all made mistakes at work, some more serious than others. Because the actions we take when mistakes are made speak loudly about our character and integrity, it is important to handle mistakes professionally and honestly. The way we deal with failure can often set us apart from others and lead to greater respect in the workplace. The following steps may be helpful in dealing with mistakes at work.

1.  Own the mistake. Go to your boss and explain the situation – don’t try to hide it. It is always better to be proactive in taking responsibility. Then accept the consequences of your mistake.

2.  Apologize. Be sincere and avoid blaming others or making excuses.

3.  Present a plan to rectify the situation. Then commit yourself and work hard to make things right.

4.  Learn from your mistake. Analyze what led to the mistake and figure out what you need to do differently. Then implement those changes.

5.  Let it go. Accept that even the most skilled individuals make mistakes. Don’t berate yourself.  Refocus and move forward.

When mistakes happen, we often want to crawl under a rock and hide for a very long time. But, we can’t allow mistakes to limit our progress and growth. In time the sting will ease and we’ll be able to recognize that mistakes present opportunities to learn and improve. And, as we learn from mistakes and increase our knowledge, we demonstrate our commitment to growth and success.

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