In business, in fact in all of life, we will make mistakes. Making mistakes at work is not the end of the world, as it often points to the fact that you are trying to succeed. However, knowing how to handle your mistakes is important. Here are five things you should always do when you make a mistake.
Admit it! Don’t be afraid to take full responsibility. It is harder to look people in the eye and say, “Yes, I did it, and I was wrong” than to ignore the problem, but true leadership takes ownership of your mistakes.
Clarify but don’t justify – It is okay to explain why you made the decision but don’t let it come across as justification for your mistake. Own the mistake, understand your mistake, but never justify your mistake.
Correct the mistake – Nothing speaks louder than a person who desires to correct the problem. When possible, make your priority to fixing the situation.
Learn but don’t dwell– There are two ways to ruin your development: not learning from your mistake or dwelling too much on your mistake. Take the time to write out lessons you learned from the mistake but learn to forgive yourself and not fret over every detail.
Move forward – Plot your next moves immediately. Too often your mistake and failure will make you a little hesitant in taking on other related tasks. The best way forward is to tackle another related issue and demonstrate that you grew from your experience.
Successful people will make mistakes, but the most successful will handle their mistakes to maximize their learning and development. In the end, your mistakes will most likely be forgotten as you demonstrate an ability to handle them correctly.