No matter how qualified you are, it is not impossible for you to make a mistake at work. This could turn into a nightmare if not handled properly. You can for example mix up the address of an order, or the recipient of a confidential mail, in brief, you just didn’t do what you were asked to… When everybody makes mistakes at work, the ways however to handle them or to make up for them can be different. Here are some tips to save faces.
Keep your cool…
When you happen to make a mistake at your workplace, there is no need for you to panic because no matter what the consequences of that mistake could be, going into panic mode will not solve the issue. Tell yourself that everybody makes mistakes and panicking would only make things worse. It is obviously naural to feel embarrassed and stressed out about admitting that you made a mistake. But the faster you act on it, the better it will go. It is useless to just bury your head in the sand. If you manager was informed about the situation quickly enough, there would be more time for him to get involved and minimize the damages. If your mistake can have repercussions then confess immediately. It will stop it from getting any bigger and leading to serious consequences. However if it’s a little mistake you can handle it yourself, no need to bring it up.
Don’t point fingers at anyone…
There is nothing that upsets a boss more than an employee who doesn’t own up to his responsibility. That is the reason why, the moment you realize you have made a mistake, take full responsibility and confess your wrongs. Show your manager that you are aware of your mistake and that you have learned from your lesson. Do not point fingers at anyone by any means. If, for example, you didn’t quite understand the instructions, admit it. Owning to your mistakes is proof of maturity.
Present solutions to correct your errors
It is not just about admitting your wrongs. You must also commit to finding solutions to the problems that you have created. Presenting solutions to correct the errors will show your manager that you are really genuinely sorry. Do not hesitate to ask your colleagues for some help. It will prove that you really want to fix the problem. You must then learn from your mistakes. Take the time to explain what have happened, what you have learned from it and how you will use it to do better in the future. In short, communicate. That could work on your favor.
Don’t beat yourself over it
If you continue feeling guilty about it, it could hurt your self-esteem and make you question yourself. Know that most of the time, talented workers make mistakes and that doesn’t take away their skills. Moreover, you must know that in many situations, you are a link in a series of events. “A mistake is never solely the fault of the person who did it, the organization and the procedure that had been put in place are also to blame. Reason why it is important for managers to get with the person who made the mistake and go through the series of events that led to the error” argues specialist Jean-François Thiriet. So basically, stop beating yourself over it and move on peacefully.