Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
WORKPLACE / OCT. 12, 2014
version 2, draft 2

How to Turn a Workplace Blunder into a Laughable Situation

Thomas Watson said, “You can be discouraged by failure or you can learn from it. So go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because, remember that’s where you’ll find success; on the far side.” We all make mistakes at some point in our lives. When that blunder happens in the workplace, it can become an embarrassing situation. You might think you may never be able to show your face in the office again. However, if you can laugh at yourself and the mistake, you can come out of the incident with a smile and your reputation still in place. This article will share some simple steps on how to turn a workplace blunder into a laughable situation.

1. Take Responsibility

This situation can only get better if you own up to the mistake and take responsibility for what happened. Realize that human error is inevitable and we all are guilty of being fallible. The person who can walk away from the incident without as many embarrassing repercussions is the individual who has enough self-confidence to turn the situation around for his or her benefit. For example, learn how to laugh at yourself rather than turn away and hide in embarrassment. The former makes you the office hero. The latter makes you the office loser. When you can be self-deprecating as needed, you will maintain your dignity and keep the respect of others.

2. Avoid Self-Reproach

Of course, as mentioned in the first step, you need to take responsibility for your actions. However, don’t go down the road of constantly berating yourself for the blunders you make. Remember that human error is going to happen. Your response to it is what counts and can turn such a negative situation into a positive one. After the blunder occurs, the laughs happen and everyone walks away, make sure that you then walk away from the issue as well. You need to make changes where necessary. However, wasting valuable time in self-reproach is not going to help you turn the situation into a laughing matter.

3. Seek Assistance

If the blunder caused any negative effects in the workplace, you must make every effort to fix the situation. If you are constantly making blunders and are the big joke in the office, that is not a laughing matter and you need help. Depending on the seriousness of the situation, take the time to discuss it with a trusted colleague, your manager or someone in the HR Department. When damaging repercussions happen, most likely you’ll require help dealing with the issue, so that these blunders don’t continue to occur. An individual who has a desire to learn from mistakes can turn any situation around and make a good impression on management and fellow coworkers.

4. Make Changes

During the mental review process you need to ascertain what changes you need to make so that such blunders don’t occur anymore. Take one last look at the incident and review your strengths and weaknesses. If you want to continue laughing and having a positive experience in the workplace, then you need to focus on the necessary changes to your behavior.

Resource for Dealing with Blunders at Work

The following is another resource for how you can deal with workplace blunders and turn the situation around. Meredith Lepore wrote an article for entitled, "8 Things Not to Do When You Make a Mistake at Work". She interviewed various staffing and career experts regarding their advice on how to bring humor into these incidents and move on.

No one likes making blunders. However, when it happens, making the best of the situation is the only way you can keep on laughing for the right reasons. Take responsibility for your error, but make sure you avoid berating yourself. If you need to discuss the incident, don’t be afraid to talk to someone and make the necessary changes to avoid future blunders. Following these simple steps can help you turn a workplace blunder into a laughable situation.

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